By MARI YAMAGUCHI, The Associated Press

TOKYO (AP) — Japan's preparations for the next coronavirus surge include adding thousands more hospital beds to avoid a situation like last summer when many COVID-19 patients were forced to stay home, even when they needed supplemental oxygen.

Japan has the most hospital beds per capita in the world, but COVID-19 patients were admitted to only a fraction of them.

Hospitals that were reluctant to accept them said they weren't able to handle infectious diseases or the cost.

The roadmap of coronavirus measures adopted Friday aims to have beds for up to 37,000 patients, up from 28,000, by the end of this month. The plan also includes booster shots starting this month and oral treatments.

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