Okinawa medical system strained by COVID-19 wave

The medical care system in Japan's southwestern prefecture of Okinawa remains under extremely heavy strain from the current wave of coronavirus infections.

Okinawa is one of the 10 prefectures currently under a coronavirus state of emergency. Okinawa confirmed 271 new cases on Sunday, the fourth highest for the prefecture.

As of Thursday, all indices to assess the prefecture's current situation were at Stage 4, the highest of the four-level alert system.

For example, hospital beds for coronavirus patients were 88 percent occupied, with beds for severe cases fully occupied.

A prefectural doctors' association says 70 percent of the recent infections in Okinawa were among people in their 40s or younger.

The association is calling on residents, particularly young people, to take thorough anti-infection measures, including staying at home after 8 p.m.