Nepal | August 04, 2020

As coronavirus cases rise, Japan urges hospital beds be saved for the severely ill

Reuters
Share Now:

TOKYO: The Japanese government said on Friday it has told regions that have suffered the most serious outbreaks of coronavirus to save hospitals beds for severely ill patients, while keeping others with milder or no symptoms at home or in hotels.

The move, the latest sign of concern about the growing strain on Japan’s healthcare system, came as one of the country’s most prominent entrepreneurs, internet billionaire Hiroshi Mikitani, joined the chorus of calls on Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to declare a state of emergency as new cases of infection multiply.

Until now Japan has been hospitalising all coronavirus patients, regardless of whether they are asymptomatic or have mild symptoms. But beds are already filling up in Tokyo and threaten to elsewhere, experts said this week.

Japan has so far been spared the kind of explosive surge seen in parts of Europe, the United States and elsewhere, with nearly 2,800 cases and 73 deaths so far. Globally, coronavirus cases surpassed 1 million on Thursday, while deaths have topped 50,000.

Tokyo itself has reported the highest number of infections in the country with 684 infections – a tiny count compared with a core city population of nearly 14 million, but experts are worried about the rise in the percentage of cases that can’t be traced.

Kyodo reported on Friday that several people who attended a live music event in central Tokyo’s Shibuya district, on March 20, including a performer, had tested positive. As of the end of March, the health ministry had counted 26 clusters of infections of five people or more around the country, according to public broadcaster NHK.

After a week dominated by tension in the capital over whether and when the government might declare a state of emergency, businessman Mikitani, CEO of e-commerce giant Rakuten Inc, resorted to Twitter on Friday to post that he and Masayoshi Son, founder of the tech giant SoftBank Group , had shared the view in a phone conversation that Japan was in “an extremely critical situation”.

“How can you say this is not an emergency situation? Mr Abe, please declare a state of emergency right now!”, Mikitani said in a tweet.

Meanwhile Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike said on Thursday the metropolis would prioritise saving the lives of those in serious condition and ask people to stay at home. She said Tokyo was working with the government to secure accommodations for infected people living with families.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said on Friday that utilising facilities that had been set up for the Summer Olympic Games – now postponed by a year – was under consideration.


Follow The Himalayan Times on Twitter and Facebook

Recommended Stories:

More from The Himalayan Times:

Former king Juan Carlos decides to leave Spain amid corruption allegations

Prosecutors looking into bribe allegations Pressure had been building on royals to take action Former king remains "at the disposal" of prosecutors The 82-year-old helped guide Spain back to democracy MADRID: Spain's former king Juan Carlos has decided to leave his country, a drama Read More...

Ruling party co-chairs stick to their guns

Oli to remain PM till general election, co-chair till General Convention: NCP leader Gokul Baskota Kathmandu, August 3 Co-chairs of the ruling Nepal Communist Party (NCP) Pushpa Kamal Dahal and KP Sharma Oli held talks today in an attempt to break the current impasse in the party, but failed to Read More...

Airlines seek permission to resume flights

Airline companies have to resubmit their proposal for slots if flight operations are halted for more than 60 days Kathmandu, August 3 The government's decision to resume domestic and international flights from August 17 has prompted airline companies to start submitting their proposals to the Ci Read More...

Dhading bans sand mining during monsoon

Dhading, August 3 In view of increasing deaths related to river mining, the authority in Dhading decided to impose a complete ban on sand mining from rivers in the district during the monsoon season. There is already a rule that bans mining of river products using heavy equipment during the ra Read More...

File photo of Melamchi Water Supply Project tunnel.

‘Technical error caused Melamchi tunnel accident’

Kathmandu, August 3 A committee formed to investigate Melamchi tunnel incident has concluded that one of the sluice gates on the tunnel of the Melamchi Water Supply Project had broken due to a technical error. A project engineer and a driver had died due to the flood resulting from the breakag Read More...

reproductive health, Minister of State for Health and Population, Padma Kumari Aryal

Work responsibly, Minister Aryal directs employees

Kathmandu, August 3 Minister of Land Management, Cooperatives and Poverty Alleviation Padma Kumari Aryal has directed government employees to work responsibly as the ministry has the responsibility of protecting the property of over 30 million people of the country. She said this at the annual Read More...

PM visits under-construction museum at his private residence

Bhaktapur, August 3 Prime Minister and Co-chair of the ruling Nepal Communist Party (NCP) KP Sharma Oli today visited his private residence at Balkot and met with people from different walks of life. This is the third time the prime minister has visited his private residence after being electe Read More...

‘Harsher punishment against acid attackers’

Kathmandu, August 3 Women and Social Welfare Committee of the House of Representatives has directed the home ministry to make some amendments to the legal arrangement and punishment related to incidents of acid attack, pointing out the need of timely revision. After the discussion held on ‘a Read More...