November sees 84 coronavirus fatalities in Hokkaido and a record 5,733 cases of infection

According to reports by the Hokkaido government, there were a total of 5,733 cases of Covid-19 infections in November (including those that retested positive), 5.6 times more than the previous highest monthly figure of 1,029 in October. The number of fatalities in November rose to 84, which is 1.5 times the previous highest monthly figure of 57 in May. The Hokkaido government believes a string of clusters at medical institutions and the like to be the primary factor, and calling for increased vigilance.

In a breakdown of the ages of the November fatalities, it was revealed that two were in their forties, one in their fifties, three in their sixties, 13 in their seventies, 29 in their eighties, 14 in their nineties, one over one hundred years of age, and 21 whose ages were undisclosed. Approximately 90% of those whose ages were disclosed were over 70 years of age.

The November fatalities included 15 patients who died in clusters that occurred in two Asahikawa hospitals. A total of 94 cases, including the clusters in both these hospitals, were confirmed since the start of November. Of these, almost half – 44 cases – occurred in medical and welfare facilities, leading to an increase in the number of deaths due to an increase in the number of senior citizens that became infected.
However, the infection fatality rate during the one-month period dropped drastically to 1.5% from 17.6% in May. According to the Hokkaido government, “It’s probably because treatment methods are gradually becoming established and it is now possible to prevent symptoms from becoming more severe.”
Monthly fatality figures to date include 22 at the peak of the second wave in Hokkaido in April; and the highest, 57 in May. Since June, the numbers have reduced, with only three deaths in October despite a sharp rise in new infections.