In a city near Tokyo, only 30 percent of COVID-19 patients recuperating at home who requested an ambulance were taken to hospital in August.
The fire department of Matsudo City in Chiba Prefecture says there were 255 emergency transport requests from patients staying at home and public health centers between August 1 and 22. The figure is nearly three times that of the same period in July.
Fire department officials say 70 percent of the 255 cases were denied hospitalization. In some of the cases, paramedics were not able to find hospitals that could admit patients, and in others, healthcare authorities determined that home recuperation should be continued.
The officials also point out the lack of ambulances, saying that all 12 of their vehicles had been already dispatched on some days when they received emergency calls.
From Monday, the fire department is set to bring in three backup ambulances to cope with the situation. Another two vehicles that were due to be scrapped will be used to hold patients waiting to be transported.