Tokyo, Jan. 15 (Jiji Press)–The Japanese government plans to allow the state and prefectural governors to urge hospitals to accept patients with COVID-19, the disease caused by the new coronavirus, health ministry officials said Friday.
   The move is designed to address shortages of hospital beds for COVID-19 patients that are becoming serious chiefly in the 11 prefectures covered by the government’s state of emergency over the coronavirus.
   The ministry plans to disclose the names of hospitals that refuse to accept COVID-19 patients without due reason, the officials said.
   These measures will be included in a planned bill to revise the infectious disease law. It will be introduced to the Diet, the country’s parliament, during an ordinary session set to be convened on Monday.
   Under the current law, the health minister and prefectural governors can only seek cooperation from doctors and others to prevent infections from spreading.


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