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Osaka medical examiner: Autopsies showing increase in COVID-19 deaths

OSAKA (TR) – The results of autopsies conducted in Osaka Prefecture on persons who died at home are showing an increase in deaths due to COVID-19, reports NHK (May 10).

According to the Osaka Prefectural Medical Examiner, there were 20 cases in April in which the cause of death was COVID-19. For the one-year period through March, the figure was only 14.

The 20 persons died in their homes in Osaka City or other cities in the prefecture. In the cases, the cause of death was initially not known but ruled to have not been due to foul play.

The majority of the cases involve people in their 60s. Four were in their 50s. One person was in their 40s. In most cases, the persons suffered from a lifestyle disease, such as high blood pressure.

The novel coronavirus causes the disease COVID-19. The deaths occurred six days on average after the persons began suffering symptoms of the disease, the examiner said.

“In some cases, the person or a family member died after not being able to decide whether to go to a medical institution,” said medical examiner Kenichi Yoshida. “So please be careful.”

Shortage of hospital beds

A shortage of hospital beds is forcing patients in Osaka Prefecture who test positive for the coronavirus to recuperate at home. Data provided by the health ministry showed that as of May 5 there were 13,423 such patients.

The figure is up more than 500 percent over four weeks before, according to the ministry.