Tokyo hospital list for suspected COVID patients

The Tokyo Metropolitan Government has made public for the first time a list of medical institutions that can accept suspected coronavirus patients.

The government released on its website a list of specialized hospitals in the capital, after obtaining consent from 1,116 of around 3,800 such institutions.

The list shows the hospitals' consultation hours, languages spoken, and whether they accept pregnant women or children.

The metropolitan government did not release this information earlier, due to concerns that it could lead to overcrowding in hospitals.

Before the disclosure, people with a fever had to call the Tokyo Fever Consultation Center, which informed callers about nearby medical institutions.

However, Tokyo officials received complaints from the public that it was difficult to get through to the center, as the latest wave of infections to spread across the capital.

People are now able to select a hospital from the list and make an appointment themselves.

Officials said they hoped that those suffering from suspected COVID-19 symptoms would make use of the new list.