A hotel in central Tokyo started accepting coronavirus patients with mild or no symptoms in a bid to alleviate the country's hospitals amid the pandemic, as 4,768 cases have been confirmed, as of Friday morning.

Footage filmed on Friday shows governmental officials, military personnel as well as medical staff members outside the Toyoko Inn Tokyo-eki Shin-ohashi hotel in the capital's Chuo Ward getting ready to accept new patients. Tents were set up by the hotel's entrance.

The hotel has been rented by the Tokyo government and has a capacity of about 100 beds. Only patients whose body temperature has been lower than 37.5 C in the last 24 hours are to be admitted.

On Tuesday, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe announced a state of emergency in several regions of Japan due to the COVID-19 outbreak, asking employers to allow employees to work from home as well as reducing in-person contact wherever necessary, including by working in shifts from places where attendance is essential.

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Associated Press 11 May 2020 11:44 CEST

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