Data show Japan's coronavirus situation worsening

Some of Japan's 47 prefectures have reached the most critical stages on a series of indexes used to assess the coronavirus situation, including hospital bed availability.

The health ministry released the data on Friday.

Regarding bed availability, Tokyo, Hyogo, Osaka and Saitama are among the prefectures that have reached Stage 4, which is the most critical, and means the occupancy rate is 50 percent or more.

As of Tuesday, the rate was 78.1 percent in Tokyo, 70.1 percent in Hyogo, 64.4 percent in Osaka, and 59 percent in Saitama.

Officials point out that Hyogo tends to log a higher rate because it hospitalizes everybody who tests positive, in principle.

Regarding bed availability for seriously ill patients, Tokyo and Osaka have also reached Stage 4. Tokyo's rate was 87.4 percent, and Osaka's was 64.7 percent.

In the week through Sunday, the rate for positive PCR tests was 21.3 percent in Hyogo, 20.5 percent in Chiba, 16 percent in Kanagawa, 14.1 percent in Tokyo, 13.9 percent in Saitama, 11.2 percent in Kyoto, and 10 percent in Osaka.

Officials say the rates may have been pushed up because fewer tests were conducted during the New Year period.

A state of emergency was declared in Tokyo and the three neighboring prefectures of Saitama, Kanagawa and Chiba on Thursday.

The governors of Osaka, Hyogo and Kyoto prefectures in western Japan are considering asking the central government to add them to the state of emergency.