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Coronavirus infections spread rapidly among Japan's police

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March 26 marked the date for the first policeman to expire of Covid-19 in France. At least 51 have been known to have tested positive for the coronavirus. In Spain, the figure of infections among the police has exceeded 700.

The United States has been grappling with an equally severe situation. As of April 6, 12 members of the New York Police Department had died; and as many as 1,400 have called in sick. The figures in Philadelphia, Chicago and Detroit were also high. In South America, Peru had reported 17 deaths among police officers so far.

The virus is spreading among police in Japan as well. According to Nikkan Gendai (April 25), as of April 22, the National Police Agency reported that 73 police officers had tested positive for the coronavirus. The same day, the Tokyo Metropolitan Police learned that a 42-year-old chief patrolman heading a motorcycle brigade attached to the Omori Police Station in Ota Ward had tested positive, raising the total to 74.

Of the 74, 22 were officers or civilian employees working in Tokyo.

What Nikkan Gendai finds surprising is the rapidity with which the number has increased -- up by fourfold from just two weeks previous, when five policemen had tested positive. About 250 colleagues of the five, who had been in close contact, were ordered to self-quarantine for two weeks.

Authorities are now concerned that the nation may face a looming shortage of officers, which would pose a threat to public safety.

"Frankly, I suppose the officers became infected because they've been careless over protecting themselves from the coronavirus," Itsuo Tobimatsu, a former detective of the Hyogo Prefectural Police, is quoted as saying. "Especially since theirs is the kind of work that involves contact with people, they should understand there's a greater risk of becoming infected. And it was inexcusable for members of the West Kobe police station to have organized a party in the midst of this contagion. What can you say, except they were being unprofessional and derelict in their duty?"

Maintenance of public safety, unfortunately puts police in situations where they are unable to avoid contacts. During epidemics more people die, which means more police officers come in contact with bodies. According to reports, from the end of March to April 23, 15 corpses in five prefectures were found to have been infected with the coronavirus.

"With the spread of the virus, the police also have to change," says the aforementioned Tobimatsu. "While cash registers at convenience stores and supermarkets now shield workers from infection using vinyl sheeting, you don't see any precautions like that for example at the front desk at police stations. They haven't figured out yet that they also need to adopt preventative measures. That goes for interrogation rooms and other places. They should put a priority on procurement of protective gear. This is something they can start adopting right away.

"Unless things change, it's possible we'll see more infections between policemen," he added.

As a part of maintaining public safety, police officers should also undergo an antibody test, Nikkan Gendai urges.

© Japan Today

©2020 GPlusMedia Inc.

20 Comments
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Please clarify

The cops had a party?

Did it result later with any of them having positive infections?

This article is all over the place.

During the Corona Virus pandemic, Cops should be tested as they have the power to stop me and put their hands on me and they deal with people all day.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Yahoo Japan keeps showing 13,500 infected in Japan almost the past week. I wonder if there is a true source to find the real number.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Was that a Freudian slip when you say that lack of Police officers "...pose a treat to public safety", or did you mean "threat"? There are a few of us who have received more hassle than help from some of the Japanese police...

Moderator: It was a typo.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

No one is exempt from catching this nasty virus, we ALL should be on our guard and protect others and our selfs.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Yahoo Japan keeps showing 13,500 infected in Japan almost the past week. I wonder if there is a true source to find the real number.

Unless you take drastic measures to slow this virus down or other countries like in the States, SK and a few countries in Europe you won’t find the real number. Just today I went to my local Nafco and it was quite full with clusters of people that shows the government is just more concerned with the economy, Olympics than the lives of the people.

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

bass4funk

Just today I went to my local Nafco and it was quite full with clusters of people that shows the government is just more concerned with the economy, Olympics than the lives of the people.

Bizarre you are complaining about NAFCO full with clusters of people but you were one of them doing non essential shopping.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

Bizarre you are complaining about NAFCO full with clusters of people but you were one of them doing non essential shopping.

I don’t know about you, but not having a functioning toilet is just no fun.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

"Look at this huge cluster of stupid people that I'm also part of"

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I don’t know about you, but not having a functioning toilet is just no fun.

Then you call a plumber. Recently called one to replace a worn out gasket and old connection tap and a new float in the cistern. ¥30,000.

-5 ( +2 / -7 )

These are the official figures, updated daily

https://www.mhlw.go.jp/stf/seisakunitsuite/bunya/0000164708_00001.html

The same data on the English site are slightly older

https://www.mhlw.go.jp/stf/seisakunitsuite/bunya/newpage_00032.html

Tokyo

https://stopcovid19.metro.tokyo.lg.jp/en/

You can get ward-specific official data from any ward as well, so I assume other local governments probably have pages for that too.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Then you call a plumber.

Don’t need to, I can do it myself, why pay for the labor when I can do it cheaper? Besides, I don’t want anyone in my house.

Recently called one to replace a worn out gasket and old connection tap and a new float in the cistern. ¥30,000.

Good for you.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Then you call a plumber. Recently called one to replace a worn out gasket and old connection tap and a new float in the cistern. ¥30,000.

Zichi: You clearly forgot that you’re talking to a guy that can do everything, has lived everywhere, and knows everything.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

What’s wrong creating neighborhood volunteer watch groups? Police should train willing volunteer patrollers, both men and women. It’s ‘our’ neighborhood and it’s free; just need some training. In times of trouble others would support, too. Besides, we all have lots of free time in our hands.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Zichi: You clearly forgot that you’re talking to a guy that can do everything, has lived everywhere, and knows everything.

And claims to be rich but won't give work to the local trades people.

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

Recently, Hyogo police found themselves understaffed after a group attending a party where the participants (not following the rules to distance) caught the virus.

A 2 week stay at home sentence followed...

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Recently called one to replace a worn out gasket and old connection tap and a new float in the cistern. ¥30,000.

You can do it yourself with the parts from a Home Center and youtube videos for a hellava a lot less. I would question anyone's fiscal judgement in this matter (30,000 yen) unless they are physically incapable of doing the work themselves.

Don’t need to, I can do it myself, why pay for the labor when I can do it cheaper? Besides, I don’t want anyone in my house.

We agree on this!

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Good luck to the police servicemen who serve and protect us

In the US, about 1 in 6 police officers are getting infected

1 ( +1 / -0 )

“15 infected corpses” ... who didn’t need to die at home, just to keep the total numbers low to save the Olympics.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

It is not for another to decide what is "essential"

There is life and death draconian measures being put on a disease that 95% don't even realize they had

0 ( +0 / -0 )

they need to have regular c19 test for every law enforcement officers, these guys are at most risk since they not only talk to the public, they have to actually be physical in contact with drunks, criminals,

I don't see them wearing anything special except masks, their uniform is the same, at least, need to wear some sort of gloves , not cotton ones, disposal gloves,

Japan is so unprepared in many ways, it's hard to point to one area.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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