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Hospitals turning away sick people as coronavirus cases surge

135 Comments
By MARI YAMAGUCHI and YURI KAGEYAMA

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Time for a serious lockdown yet, Abe?

34 ( +46 / -12 )

This is a concerning article, and suggests what many of us who have been watching what has been working and not working in other countries have been saying.

Abe's gamble for Herd Immunity may come at a terrible cost.

In the weeks to come I hope we're not all just looking at each other saying 'What were we thinking?'

30 ( +33 / -3 )

I don't know why Abe isn't active to defense forces help hospitals, the staffs not to be infected. I'm sure they (JDF) has a lot of uniforms (like that aquanauts) and kits to offer in this emergency time. It will safe many people and JDF more reputation. Much convinced than his change the constitution policy.

17 ( +19 / -2 )

Disaster waiting to happen.

28 ( +30 / -2 )

Tired of hearing social distancing can't be achieved. Supermarkets and big drug stores can easily police the number of people entering their stores.

Maybe Japan should form another panel to mull it over.

34 ( +37 / -3 )

Don't get seriously sick or injured in Japan during the next few months.

30 ( +34 / -4 )

It gets worse...

https://www.cnn.com/2020/04/17/asia/japan-coronavirus-medical-workers-hnk-intl/index.html

13 ( +14 / -1 )

Some thoughts...

If there had been more testing you would have a better chance or tracing the untraceable infections. Testing continues to remain far lower than other countries. 800/mil vs 20,000/mil in Germany

You have had 3 months to prepare for this. You own medical advisers were saying we should expect the same trajectory as European countries, but you chose to ignore their advice and prioritize the Olympics.

Now you really need to have complete lock-down or the above story will be repeated throughout the country tenfold.
43 ( +46 / -3 )

I really wish I could say I was wrong in the posts I've been posting for the past months. Unfortunately, I have to say "I as well as many others told you so!"

Do you non believers still think we are fear mongering?

23 ( +34 / -11 )

Infuriating. Japan had a running head start and they absolutely squandered it.

52 days I have stayed inside all but to go to the grocery store twice a week for essentials.

52 days since schools have closed that they had to prepare for distance learning, meaningless.

52 days of watching the whole of the develop world crumble under the weight of this virus that they had every chance to prepare for - wasted.

50 ( +52 / -2 )

Quoting myself from March 10th:

Mar. 10  11:05 am JSTPosted in: Local gov'ts urged to prepare hospitals for peak of virus infections  See in context

There is more to consider here than death and mortality directly related to covid. There are significant and far reaching knock on implications and impacts. However, you seem to be arguing that this is caused by the various policies being put in place. While it's true that the actions that are being taken now have negative consequences, if these actions were not taken, the negative consequences could be far far greater. 

Economic impacts are the obvious ones. But even coming back to health, the costs for young and old will be high. When ICUs are beyond capacity, it won't just be people with severe covid that die. People who have a heart attack, stroke, car accident or any number of other things will also not be able to get the care they normally would. These people will not be counted as covid deaths. Hospitals will be forced to triage and makes decisions on who dies and who lives.

8 ( +10 / -2 )

These are the exact same situations I had to deal with when my condition was worst. Being rejected by medical institutions only make you become more nervous and that adds to stress which can make your situation worsen.

19 ( +19 / -0 )

Cities need to declare dedication hospitals or even better use Olympic stadiums and the like for specific corona cases otherwise your just putting the infected next to the healthy and exasperate the whole thing. Pull you thumb out as it’s now or never!!!!

16 ( +17 / -1 )

Japan initially seemed to have controlled the outbreak by going after clusters of infections in specific places, usually enclosed spaces such as clubs, gyms and meeting venues. But the spread of virus outpaced this approach and most new cases are untraceable.

This paragraph sums up the problem with a few countries who are now struggling to control the virus.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

Desperate for the Olympics to go ahead, Japan hid the true scale of this crisis. Now the horse has bolted. You reap what you sow.

33 ( +36 / -3 )

I was injured a while ago for the first time in decades. Finding a hospital which would treat me seemed to take an equal amount of time.

17 ( +17 / -0 )

This is a Japan-flavoured problem.

Forcing hospitalization of anyone with the virus, even those with mild symptoms, has left hospitals overcrowded and understaffed.

Those people should be self-isolating at home like overseas. It does not matter if they have a wife or husband and children in the same apartment. The stats says at least 80% odd percent will get no or mild symptoms only. If you put everyone who has tested positive in hospital, you stop the hospital from treating regular patients, and give the vital staff there huge exposure to the virus from people who do not need treatment. The guidelines must change.

This is very different to overseas where hospitals are being overcome with patients will advanced symptoms who cannot breathe. This is a culture/procedure problem for hospitals, not an overwhelmed with the dying one.

15 ( +16 / -1 )

It's known problem even before COVID-19

7 ( +8 / -1 )

I’ve read countless posts by people on this site saying that the virus is not spreading in Japan at all. The reasons given were the Japanese people are unique, most hygienic, all received BCG and Japanese encephalitis vaccines, don’t do skinship or touch hard surfaces, habitually wear cloth masks, don’t share steam pots, and the world’s best sakuras collectively filter out all the viruses in the air. So this must surely be fake news.

25 ( +33 / -8 )

@kohakuebisu

This is very different to overseas where hospitals are being overcome with patients will advanced symptoms who cannot breathe. This is a culture/procedure problem for hospitals, not an overwhelmed with the dying one.

Exactly. If the system can't cope now, imagine what things will be like when things actually get bad.

18 ( +19 / -1 )

Osaka should convert that convention center over near the Immigration building (Ibex? Something like that.) to a Covid-specific hospital facility, like they've been doing in cities around the world. Every major city in Japan has multiple sporting or convention facilities that could be converted.

They've had months to prepare for this crap, and all they could come up with are a couple of ill-fitting masks per household? Mind-boggling just how incompetent it all is.

13 ( +16 / -3 )

Japan initially seemed to have controlled the outbreak by going after clusters of infections in specific places, usually enclosed spaces such as clubs, gyms and meeting venues. But the spread of virus outpaced this approach and most new cases are untraceable.

It was never under control, Japan wasn't testing for it and now here we are. This all started with the stupid handling of the people on the boat where they just let people go after two weeks with no quarantine. So many poor decisions

27 ( +29 / -2 )

Starting to become like NYC

3 ( +12 / -9 )

These extra refusals are the downside to suspecting every single person had coronavirus.

said the number of cases surged largely because suspected coronavirus cases require isolation until test results arrive.

-7 ( +3 / -10 )

Japan initially seemed to have controlled the outbreak by going after clusters of infections in specific places

No it hasn't! It was the dumbest stupidest idea ever. And everyone could see that this would lead to an uncontrollable situation down the road, except those who live in denial. The same is true for the lack of early exhaustive testing.

15 ( +16 / -1 )

Every country is going to make mistakes with hindsight but it is not forgivable when you have plenty of warning to plan for a worst-case scenario.

There was plenty of time to plan "what if" scenarios and if the health system cannot handle 10,000 infections, how will it manager 100,000?

19 ( +19 / -0 )

This is problem caused by panic not the virus if the government stopped admiting everyone regardless of severity and used logic, i.e someone with a fever statistically is unlikely to have the virus a lot of problems would be solved.

My local family mart staff are all

wearing plastic face masks. I am sure these could be better used in hospitals.

Side note the hospital my wife goes to every week has never been quieter.

-13 ( +5 / -18 )

Well, How can they even say how many cases they have if people are being rejected and told to go back home...Crazy"

12 ( +13 / -1 )

I was injured a while ago for the first time in decades. Finding a hospital which would treat me seemed to take an equal amount of time.

While there are good aspects to Japan's health system, it lacks any centralised control to ensure that the right healthcare is available to ensure that supply meets need.

Japan seems capable of supplying enough school places for children, but not able to do the same when it comes to healthcare. Ok, the latter is more difficult, but certain things, like for treating accidents, there should be a fairly predictable demand.

10 ( +11 / -1 )

But there are fears Japan's outbreak could become much worse.

It already is much worse - but because they aren't testing people they only have record of a fraction of the real number of cases in the community. That's really scary because it gives the populace a false sense of security in doing fairly normal things in their daily routine, which only accelerates the threat.

This is truly woeful management of this crisis. Be careful people.

9 ( +12 / -3 )

Along with the points stated by other posters, I would add that Japanese lulled themselves into a false sense of security because it was spared even a single death from the SARS epidemic in 2003. This time it's SARS on steroids, and not going to go away with the warmer weather. (If that were the case, then how could you explain the increasing numbers of cases in Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, etc.?)

16 ( +19 / -3 )

We haven't evolved much from Darwin's ages.

The weak dies, the strong survives.

Humanity never learns.

0 ( +9 / -9 )

In all but the six or seven top prefectures, Japan is testing at a rate of at least 10 negatives to 1 positive. According to the WHO, that is enough testing to assume that not many cases are being missed. Remember that it is only the most likely people in Japan who are being tested, people with prolonged symptoms or have been in contact with other positives. If you are in Gifu or Niigata or another semi-rural or rural prefecture, the situation there is under control (for now).

The problem is in the six or seven prefectures that have the most cases and are finding one positive for six or fewer negatives. Problem one is the story above, the policy of admitting most cases regardless of symptoms. This actively feeds into problem two, which is insufficient testing. If most positives are going into hospital, that actively discourages the health system from doing more testing to find positives. Problem three is insufficient social distancing, especially in these six or seven prefectures.

many hospital emergency rooms are refusing to treat people including those suffering strokes, heart attacks and external injuries.

This is extremely grave and cannot be allowed to continue.

8 ( +9 / -1 )

Compare this to the UK, whose free "NHS" (National Health Service), which is already over-stretched (after dealing with the pandemic for longer) :

"Dr Jennifer Hill, medical director for operations, said: "We would rather people who have serious symptoms take action straight away to allow us to provide the right treatment in a timely way and prevent full-blown life-threatening scenarios like a severe stroke, sepsis or heart attack."

( Source: - https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-52323908 )

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Yup, not surprised at all. Anyone with a functioning cerebral cortex could have predicted this outcome and it’ll only get worse.

-1 ( +15 / -16 )

Don’t worry, Japanese government is already working on plans to further restrict testing so reported numbers should come right down

https://headlines.yahoo.co.jp/hl?a=20200417-00010000-jij-sctch&p=1

Also I’m they will work on faking this years death statistics to report no death. Japanese government will soon declare a glorious success and LDP will get even a bigger landslide victory next election

11 ( +14 / -3 )

Fear not everyone...Abenomasks are on their way for the rescue.

13 ( +15 / -2 )

Yup, not surprised at all. Anyone with a functioning cerebral cortex could have predicted this outcome and it’ll only get worse.

You want Japan to go on full lockdown, but want the US to fully reopen tomorrow. Oh, I get it; you live in Japan and not the US.

17 ( +21 / -4 )

The government needs to start making purpose built temporary hospitals for Coronavirus patients and that way only the serious ill people would need to use the hospitals and no hospital crisis. Can't anyone in the JP government come up with this easy solution that many other countries have done.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Why should this come as any surprise? People in ambulances were getting turned away well before Covid19 came on the scene. Of course people in Japan call an ambulance for any reason instead of calling a taxi, another issue altogether.

10 ( +14 / -4 )

This is on Abe, he had months to prepare for this and yet here we are, totally unprepared for an entirely predictable disaster.

15 ( +16 / -1 )

Remember the media is geared towards sensationalism, even the stodgy old AP. They are desperate to stay relevant in the digital age so the guiding principle in writing these stories is how far can we push the envelope of the truth.

just keep that in mind people

-2 ( +7 / -9 )

In March, there were 931 cases of ambulances getting rejected by more than five hospitals or driving around for 20 minutes or longer to reach an emergency room, up from 700 in March last year.

In the first 11 days of April, that rose to 830, the Tokyo Fire Department said. 

A year ago there were 700 cases of ambulances getting rejected by more than five hospitals or driving around for 20 minutes or longer to reach an emergency room... No action to improve the situation in the last 12 months ?

This was already a terrible situation that has not been improved and is now being highlighted through the magnifying glass of the covid epidemic. There seems to be a pattern of wasted time and inaction...

For over 3 months Japan has watched from afar at the tragic loss of life internationally - thousands of lives lost in what was a head start for Japan to better prepare - a tragic loss and waste in so many respects.

15 ( +15 / -0 )

You want Japan to go on full lockdown,

Yes.

but want the US to fully reopen tomorrow.

Uh, besides Abe not ordering a shutdown, not having mass testing, allowing most of the country to go about where they please in a pandemic, what measures has Japan taken to combat this deadly virus? I swear to God if I hear one more “Wash hands.....”

At least in the US great efforts “were and are” made to flatten the curve. Japan is not even close to that.

Oh, I get it; you live in Japan and not the US.

Both countries I was in the States last month.

-11 ( +6 / -17 )

Mirai HayashiToday  05:05 pm JST

Starting to become like NYC

Nowhere near NYC. As of right now anyway.

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

The problem is not the sheer number of patients, they can easily handle that.

It's the fact that each patient must be held in total isolation until the test results are cleared.

Incoming patients with a cough cannot be placed with other non-Covid patients nor can they be placed with current Covid patients.

This causes a logistical nightmare for the hospitals and that's why they are overwhelmed.

3 ( +10 / -7 )

How can a hospital turn away patients. This is incongruous. What have we become?

12 ( +15 / -3 )

I think part of the problem in Japan had been the spread of misinformation about he virus.(even on this message board) It's a shame it has come to this.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

This comes as absolutely no surprise to many of us foreigners in Japan, watching what's going on around the world..

But hey! At least the Olympics are saved! Oh wait, they were ultimately cancelled? Only then did cases start rising rapidly?

Implement half measure here and there? In that prefectures and this prefecture? Save the economy at all cost, hanami it up! Heaven forbid the inaka omiyage industry takes a hit!

Let's close all schools when there are less than 2,000 confirmed cases. Open schools back up an let the towns decide for themselves when there are over 6,000 cases! Only declare a state of emergency and close schools in 7 prefectures!

But big business ultimately decide if workers have to report in. Pack the trains and commute still! Don't forget to stamp your hanko! We need your seal on these documents!

Oh maybe we should extend the state of emergency to the whole country... This is looking pretty bad..

It's too late, and Abe and the rest of the government have been to damn slow. They'll never admit that their tardiness to a proper response was in an effort to save the Olympics and the "protect" the economy. And in the duration of the government not taking it seriously and imposing half measure, a majority of the Japanese hasn't been either. People in my work place all have to come to work, have terrible sneeze/cough etiquette. There was no soap in any of the bathrooms for at least a month (I brought my own)!

Only very recently are we starting to see real changes and caution emerge. But it's far to late. It's nearly 4 months late

Buckle down y'all, 'cause we're in for a ride.

7 ( +12 / -5 )

And yet the roads will be open to idiots .

5 ( +7 / -2 )

Laimal-ConvoyToday  05:43 pm JST

Compare this to the UK, whose free "NHS" (National Health Service), which is already over-stretched (after dealing with the pandemic for longer) :

NHS is massively underfunded & understaffed thanks to years of Tory cut backs!!!

free? no !!high taxes pay for it!

clueless misinformed people everywhere!!

-5 ( +2 / -7 )

I've been saying this for weeks, but the Japanese medical system doesn't know how to respond to this crisis. An ambulance shouldn't have to drive around all week waiting for an empty room, they should be able to drop the patient off at a field tent set up in Yoyogi Park or some other large area in Tokyo. Hospitals in Japan aren't ready for this. Too many elderly people already abusing the medical system, walking aroung fully bent over like they've been planting rice their whole life.

8 ( +12 / -4 )

Import those Chinese workers who built hospitals in record time.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

it was just a couple of weeks ago that Japan was patting itself on the back and humble-bragging to the world. This is heading towards a big ugly mess in Japan

9 ( +10 / -1 )

Don't get seriously sick or injured in Japan during the next few months.

This rule has always been true since ever for weekends or public holidays. The Japanese medical system was never as good as it pretended to be.

11 ( +12 / -1 )

Yup, not surprised at all. Anyone with a functioning cerebral cortex could have predicted this outcome and it’ll only get worse.

and yet some on here think that with the situation in the US far worse than Japan its time to send people back to work in the US.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Italy’s 10% mortality rate, compared to Germany’s 1%, is partly due to the shortage of ICU facilities, Nishida said. “Japan, with ICUs not even half of Italy's, is expected to face a fatality overshoot very quickly,” he said.

Wasn't the experts on media here making a mockery of how the medical system in Italy had suffered a massive collapse because they made a mistake of mild cases taking up hospital beds and the serious cases going unattended and how Japan's health system was one of the best and well equipped to handle the virus. It was nothing but making the populace feel good and sense of national pride.

13 ( +14 / -1 )

In March 2020, "931 cases of ambulances getting rejected by more than five hospitals or driving around for 20 minutes or longer to reach an emergency room, up from 700 in March last year." Unless the example of searching for hours and being refused by 80 hospitals is an outlier, shame on Mari Yamaguchi and Yuki Kageyama (usually fair reporters) for baiting readers.

While quite a poor show, these numbers are only up 25% from last year. The problem is systemic, even last year the situation was incredulous. The problem stems from ambulances being refused admittance to hospitals in Japan, especially Kanto. This it is not necessarily a Coronavirus, problem, It is just a way of deflecting and ignoring a bigger problem, considering that ** "calls that did not require any emergency response accounted for 1,603,721 [of] cases [in 2019]."***

The "Emergency Declaration" of Abe-Sori" gives the government the right to take over hospitals "in time of need" with or without the owner's consent. In the case of Tokyo, they government can designate at least one Coronavirus-dedicated hospital and maybe one standby, and if the doctors working there took the Hippocratic Oath, they will treat all patients with compassion and the appropriate level of medical need without complaining.

As the government has power to commander the hospital on command, there will be no shortages of beds for Coronavirus patients. While they are at it, an edict which disallows hospitals from picking and choosing patients who can be ignored the most for the largest number of "points" for services issued by the Ministry of Health.

As far as the about N95 masks, gowns, ventilators and other supplies, a simple call to Donnie, Governor Cuomo, GM, 3M, Abbott, or the myriad of areas and companies with enough supply, I m glad they would be glad to step up to the plate.

https://japantoday.com/category/national/20-of-emergency-calls-in-2018-did-not-require-ambulance-response

4 ( +7 / -3 )

Once this virus gets into Japan’s nursing homes, retirement communities, and skilled nursing facilities, all bets are off. Not to mention rural areas with much more limited health care resources.

Its a nice idea to set up critical care facilities in sports arenas and convention centers like the US is doing, but who is going to staff them in Japan, when hospital staffs are already being depleted by illness and overwork? You can say JDF to the rescue, but I doubt they have the numbers of skilled personnel that is going to be required. May have to recall all those health workers Japan sends overseas annually under the auspices of the UN and NGOs...

12 ( +12 / -0 )

Of course people in Japan call an ambulance for any reason instead of calling a taxi, another issue altogether.

Well it's free, so what can you expect.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

At least in the US great efforts “were and are” made to flatten the curve.

Yes. But by some states' governors, not by the demented carnival barker that is the US president.

-5 ( +2 / -7 )

I remember the days when you called the ambulance and where're taken to to closed hospitals but now they pick you up and try to find a hospital that can accommodate you. This is 3rd world bs .

7 ( +8 / -1 )

@Dan Lavender

"NHS is massively underfunded & understaffed thanks to years of Tory cut backs!!! free? no !!high taxes pay for it! clueless misinformed people everywhere!!"

Incorrect. The NHS is free to anyone using it, unlike Japan's which requires payment:

"Anyone who lives in Japan must pay into the system according to their income level. And when people go to the doctor they pay about 30 percent of the cost of treatment and drugs out of their own pockets. Some people pay less and a few pay nothing..."

(Source: - https://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2017/08/11/business/japans-health-care-far-free-ballooning-costs-mean-higher-premiums/ )

"Each service provides a comprehensive range of health services, free at the point of use for people ordinarily resident in the United Kingdom, apart from dental treatment and optical care.  In England, NHS patients have to pay prescription charges with a range of exemptions from these charges..."

(Source: - https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Health_Service )

True, it is funded by taxes (as it should be) and perhaps it's not as great as it should, but it IS doing a darn-sight better than Japan right now. It's been testing, treating and, admitting more people than Japan's current system.

Take time time to read both articles, and both health-care systems, before posting inaccurate drivel.

Your point is null and void.

Moving on...

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Time wasted....Now is the time to act decisively and do what should have been started months ago. Looking backwards will help nobody, recriminations and holding to account is for later.

Don't need Chinese workers to build a hospital. UK got the first Nightingale hospital up and running in 9 days, any advanced economy with large conference centres can do the same with organisation and determination.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

We haven't evolved much from Darwin's ages.

The weak dies, the strong survives.

Humanity never learns.

@bokuda - I don't want to go off topic, but this is not actually a correct understanding of the Darwin's theory of evolution. The "strong" are those who are able to pass on their genes to children. Nothing more.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Buckle up people, looks like we are in for a very Rough and Ugly ride. Thanks to the advisory panel Mr Abe is listening to.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

I remember the days when you called the ambulance and where're taken to to closed hospitals but now they pick you up and try to find a hospital that can accommodate you. This is 3rd world bs .

And if you are in inaka the problems are far worse. Fewer hospitals and doctors don't like working weekends and evenings. Emergency care can be hard to find. Paediatric care even harder. If you ever choose to live in inaka think very carefully about where your nearest large hospital and don't rely on mom and pop hospitals that litter Japan.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

I am so confused to read this news!

I wish at @I@n was here to help me understand since he said:

Some of the reasons for the low numbers should be obvious to everyone by now. What are some measures being proposed to mitigate the spread of the virus? Social distancing, mask wearing, hand washing/ sanitizing; these are all practiced widely here in Japan even before covid19 came.

And with the awareness brought by covid19, flu cases even dropped as a result.

This article seems to contradict everything that @I@n was saying.

I wonder what the doctors are telling patients or ambulance drivers!

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Tokyo recorded another 180+ cases today. The total number of cases has more than doubled in nine days without a huge increase in testing. Around 56% of tests are coming back positive with one in five people requiring hospitalization.

The other locations with very large increases in cases in a relatively short time are Saitama, Ishikawa, Kyoto and Fukuoka.

I got this news from NHK at 7pm this evening.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Why do I have the feeling that Japan is going to get hit badly Left Right and Center. It's been almost 4 months since the world learned about this monster, but yet Japan is yet to implement hard core preventive measures. and please don't tell me thing were not so bad till the Olympics were cancelled, Bcz. that is a LIE.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

You'd think that by having reduced testing you'd see a low rate of infection, yet higher proportion of deaths - though Japan has only 1.7% which is relatively small compared to other Countries - how come ?

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

This virus has proven politicians have to take charge of formulating policy. bureaucrats when tasked with coming up with policy that benefits the general public fail woefully as seen with the 300,000 relief fund that had to take a Komeito politician to change or how they have done everything possible to protect the medical establishment by limiting testing even if there is risk of mild cases becoming serious under the pretext that they are preventing the medical system from collapsing.

Too bad, there was nobody to advise them that the 2 mask idea was bad as they thought anything thrown at those down the ladder will happily be accepted and massive boost for dear leaders rating.

Time to reduce their pay checks as they are not up to the task of being helpful to the general public but rather J-inc. the public has suffered too long under these good for nothing document shredders and data falsifiers.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

You'd think that by having reduced testing you'd see a low rate of infection, yet higher proportion of deaths - though Japan has only 1.7% which is relatively small compared to other Countries - how come ?

Don't be so naive, Japan has much higher death count than the official number. They simply don't classify many death as covid related.

11 ( +13 / -2 )

You'd think that by having reduced testing you'd see a low rate of infection, yet higher proportion of deaths - though Japan has only 1.7% which is relatively small compared to other Countries - how come ?

If people are dying, but they were never tested before then they wouldn't be considered COVID-19 related. They are also not testing people who have already died.

12 ( +12 / -0 )

Both countries I was in the States last month.

Did you quarantine when you got back?

3 ( +4 / -1 )

The number of cases reported is meaningless until new testing processing centers are finally established.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

... and here i was thinking that Japan was a first world country / one of the richest countries in the world ( 3rd biggest economy, or still 2nd, to a lot of people ), with an amazing q.o.l. but... what a disappointment... ... and this only shows how far from reality Japan is and how little we know about the true numbers of infected people in Japan... scary huh ... Japan and Japanese like to think they,re special and different and that their “Japanese bubble” is gonna protect them from the rest of the world... well, it,s not... you can,t run away from this...

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Compare what is going on in Japan to what happened to family member in home country. Called ambulance, in hospital in 20 minutes. That's the way it should be.

This being refused by hospital after hospital issue has to be fixed.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

NHK also said the spike in Covid19 community transmission cases this past week could also be due to the masses of Tokyo people who went out on that 3 day weekend in March 20/21/22 to see the cherry blossoms just before the Olympics were postponed.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

As a foreigner in Japan I have reservations whether I could receive the proper care in time regarding a respiratory infection-doctors have already died here and that is why I do not have much faith....

5 ( +6 / -1 )

If people are dying, but they were never tested before then they wouldn't be considered COVID-19 related. They are also not testing people who have already died.

I agree that it is likely that many Covid-19 deaths are not reported for these reasons.

Nevertheless 10k people have tested positive and were hospitalized, of which only 190 have died of Covid-19. Very low by international standards.

I simply don't believe hospitals are in some mass conspiracy to hide hundreds of other deaths among these 10k patients. The policy of hospitalizing people does seem to pay off. Maybe it will be unsustainable though.

-6 ( +1 / -7 )

Tokyo recorded another 180+ cases today. The total number of cases has more than doubled in nine days without a huge increase in testing

The daily number of infections without the corresponding

number of tests means zilch to me. Nothing to read from these measured or should I say regulated numbers.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

I haven't heard an increased number of Ambulances racing around my area recently.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

I remember the days when you called the ambulance and where're taken to to closed hospitals but now they pick you up and try to find a hospital that can accommodate you. This is 3rd world bs .

This is nationalized health care in a first world nation in which services are more or less considered free or are highly subsidized - delivered at the direction of a centralized panel of experts. Even in the US it is nearly unheard of for a person seeking emergency treatment to be turned away - even during the current crisis. And the pandemic is currently much worse than in Japan. Makes you think.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Happyhere

I simply don't believe hospitals are in some mass conspiracy to hide hundreds of other deaths among these 10k patients. The policy of hospitalizing people does seem to pay off.

Nobody has said hospital are in some conspiracy to hide the number of deaths. I don't know where you got that from.

All deaths and the cause that occur in the country are reported to the mhlw, they have the data and this data can be updated and released daily if they wish but for some unknown reason the data will be made public some years later.

We know from past data that 100-120 thousand people die every year from pneumonia which translates to 300 deaths per day. An additional increase of 50 pneumonia deaths will obviously go unnoticed especially as there is no data on deaths during this pandemic period.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

Both countries I was in the States last month.

Did you quarantine when you got back?

Flights between American and Japan were banned from Feb 02.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Article: Forcing hospitalization of anyone with the virus, even those with mild symptoms, has left hospitals overcrowded and understaffed.

And there lies the problem. There’s been a lot of talk about people with mild symptoms staying in hotels. What happened to that? From the data available online, the overwhelming majority of people with mild symptoms certainly don’t need hospitalisation so it is basically a problem of poor management rather than simple shortage of hospital beds.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

What!?

article doesnt even mention why they were rejected it jsut jump to series of talking points about potential lack of beds and equipment.

It would of been nice to actually get find out why they rejected instead of goin into doom and gloom narrative

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Three months to get prepared with proper social distancing.

I am afraid that Tokyo is the next epicentre after NYC.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

From the data available online, the overwhelming majority of people with mild symptoms certainly don’t need hospitalisation so it is basically a problem of poor management rather than simple shortage of hospital beds.

But, that logical explanation isn't as click bait worthy as saying

country struggles with surging coronavirus infections and its emergency medical system collapses.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

me thinks that a lot of hypocondriacs are trying to reserve a hospital bed and respirator just in case they get the sniffles,

80 percent of tested (emphasis) indivusals show no signs -to mild symptoms

Meaning you may already have or had the virus and your buying into to fear

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

Japan needs to lock down totally and give power to thePolice to arrest and fine anyone who break the law.

Japanese central Government and prefecture Governments must learn what Australian Government and State governments are doing in there.

We are not working but Government will pay our salary by government wage subsidiary scheme. Also everyone who lost their jobs will receive social security payments and $550 on top, total $1100 fortnightly for six months. Also, State Governments are mercilessly and unapologetically cracking down to anyone who break the law. Australia Corronavirus infection rate is stable.

Dear PM Abe, give a little break to your country men and women by pay some of their living expenses during the Corronavirus Coved-19 out break.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

Nevertheless 10k people have tested positive and were hospitalized, of which only 190 have died of Covid-19. Very low by international standards.

I simply don't believe hospitals are in some mass conspiracy to hide hundreds of other deaths among these 10k patients. The policy of hospitalizing people does seem to pay off. Maybe it will be unsustainable though.

What you have not taken into account is the lead time between developing symptoms and dying. This can be over quite a long period, and symptoms in the first week can be quite mild. Simply put, you haven't counted the people who are going to die.

Now have a look at what percentage of those infected caught the virus within the past two weeks (70% of case), and remember that these are people who would not be expected to have died yet (it takes on average 18 days to die from first showing symptoms.

If we use the c.3,000 who were infected two weeks ago, 190 dead now looks far more like the percentage in other countries.

The other issue, that many have raised, is deaths not being attributed to coronavirus. The only way to estimate this will be through statistics - the number of people dying in these months this year relative to other years.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

The reason hospitals are turning rolled away is that their wards are most likely full of elderly patients-not much room to spare...

4 ( +4 / -0 )

@mmwkdw

I haven't heard an increased number of Ambulances racing around my area recently.

None of my family members have died from COVID-19, so it probably does not exist or a hoax. (sarcasm)

See how anecdotal evidence is not as strong as facts?

By the way, I heard two and saw one ambulance in the last three hours. It was the first time that I have heard or seen any in about two months.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

and yet some on here think that with the situation in the US far worse than Japan its time to send people back to work in the US.

Ok, so you are in the belief that that the food will just automatically fly into the people’s arms, no medicine or access to hardware stores or able to feed their pets, not allowed to get water, no truckers, no plumbers, firefighters, police etc. just stop everything, let the people starve and block them from getting supplies because liberals think America can survive on a pee and should wait at home for 18 months.

Nice.

-5 ( +3 / -8 )

The reason hospitals are turning rolled away is that their wards are most likely full of elderly patients-not much room to spare..

Speaks volumes about the Japanese health system and preparedness for this.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

spinningplates

What is australia doing that is successful exactly?

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

The reason hospitals are turning rolled away is that their wards are most likely full of elderly patients-not much room to spare...

I also read:

Hospitals in Japan refusing to test many who suspect they have COVID-19

https://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2020/02/26/national/hospitals-refuse-coronavirus-patients/#.XpR5yFMzZ_Q

Suggesting one reason so many hospitals have been refusing patients, a Tokyo Metropolitan Government official said, “Medical institutions are probably overreacting,” fearing the risks of in-hospital infection.

“There seems to be confusion among medical staff because the wording of the virus test criteria, ‘up to the doctor’s comprehensive judgment,’ is unclear,” the official added.

Masahiro Kami, a physician and head of the nonprofit Medical Governance Research Institute, said that almost every day he sees patients who are suspected of having the coronavirus but cannot be tested because their symptoms are mild.

Doctors and hospitals don't want to deal with it. It is MUZUKASHII!

I have heard that is the reason why there has always been the problem of hospitals refusing ambulance drivers. I personally fear having a serious medical issue that requires serious emergency medical treatment.

I wonder how many lives were lost on the way to the hospital because the ambulance driver was being constantly rejected by hospitals.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

"In one recent case, an ambulance carrying a man with a fever and difficulty breathing was rejected by 80 hospitals"

Think of how many people this guy has potentially infected in his search for a test and treatment, and all because no one bothered to prepare because, you know, Abe and co said this was all under control and Japan was handling it perfectly, don't need testing, etc. And so much for Japan's "advanced medicine" and the health care we spend a fortune on. And likely all because some elderly people have colds and don't want to leave.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

Tokyo hospital bed occupancy rate 285% (estimate).

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Like all or almost all heads of states Abe has procrastrinated for the sake of saving money and now like all others he will be handing money out to buy the forgiveness of the people whose health and prosperity he ruined. Until a week ago he was still busy refusing to do anything but money and bailout talk, every one of the last thirty days of doing nothing increased the need for this money handouts by making the spread of the virus unchecked. Is this a part of some kind of conspiracy? It is interesting to note the almost identical pattern within all major economical powers and it is interesting to note that most of the untreated deaths are people that are considered as financial liability of the treasuries.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@Numan - my point is, which is somewhat relevant to this article, that we don't know the true extent of the infections here. Listening out for Ambulances, isn't an indication - though some may think so. And clearly, as I have stated there isn't a constant stream going into the local hospitals around me (I am surrounded by 4 Major ones - though only 1 has the capability to handle Infectious Diseases). But even then, how can you tell between a general A&E case and an ID case ?

From experience, when you call an Ambulance, and when it finds you, the second thing they do - is generally call around to find out where they can take you to - relevant to this article. The onboard "Doctor" identified the person as a probable Corona Virus case, so the Infectious disease Category of Care was probably the criteria being used when calling around. So it's not surprising that many of the Hospitals they called rejected his admission.

Also, as a side note, I was at the National DCC last week, and whilst there did not observe the massive situation we're seeing in other Countries. Though, there were a number of "Walking Sick" coming in... and being siphoned off into a separate area - staff there were wearing PPE whereas in the General area they were not even wearing facemasks!

This brings me to my final statement. In Japan, people don't like to cause inconvenience to others, so even though they may have what appears to be nasty cold, they may not wish to go and seek Hospital care - particularly these days, when there's so much talk about Capacity issues. As a consequence, and given what we know about how rapidly the disease can take effect between symptoms showing and death, I suspect there are going to be many simply dying at home - particularly the Elderly. Communities need to be aware of this risk, and look out for potential cases, if you know of an older person whom you haven't unusually seen for a day or two, perhaps give them a phone call or simply knock on their door and ask if they're okay ?

3 ( +3 / -0 )

One wonders if it's even worth continuing to pay 38000 yen every month into the Japanese Health Care system ? What's the point if when I get sick I can't be treated as the system is overwhelmed ?

6 ( +6 / -0 )

My great Japanese wife is senior midwife gynecology terminally ill patient nurse in Ebisu, there are 30-40 corona patients at her hospital, works other feet every day and at least one day a week overnight - goes to work 2 pm comes home exhausted 10 a.m. next morning. I take care of our 3 kids 11, 15, 19. ya think any deadbeat tax thief officials give a hoot about her risk and sacrifice? They all disgust me.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

One wonders if it's even worth continuing to pay 38000 yen every month into the Japanese Health Care system ? What's the point if when I get sick I can't be treated as the system is overwhelmed ?

Agreed, it's very worrying, disgraceful even. I was turned away from 3 hospitals a few years ago for a cut above the eye that required a few simple stitches. Basic treatment. At the time it baffled me that hospitals could actually refuse patients.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

If you are a foreigner and in Osaka or Tokyo or a place where hospitals are turning away patients, you should now consider your personal safety deeply without panic. It is likely during times of hysteria, natural disasters, emergency, etc for individuals, groups and societies to unravel. You could appear like a target to a temporarily irrational individual or group more so during times mentioned above.

Is your dwelling place secure against a group or individual? For how long? How long could you survive at your dwelling place if you had to lock yourself in for your safety?

If you are in good health could it be more secure to be off grid for you?

Keep enough cash on hand to survive without banks or electronics should there be an earthquake during the Covid-19 case increase.

Now would be a good time to set up a (Facebook?) group specifically for foreigners in Japan to get through the pandemic and establish a support network to assist each other just in case.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Prime Minister Abe has become the Donald Trump of Japan. He is copying his crony in all phases to fight COVID-19 by uninformed and unscientific means to the end. Our sympathies go to the families of the victims who need not have died because of the incompetent leader ship

2 ( +3 / -1 )

@zichi: Tokyo hospital bed occupancy rate 285% (estimate).

I appreciate that you are trying to be informative about the extent of the problem with hospitals during this pandemic but a stat like this should come with some additional explanation. I find it hard to believe that there are an estimated 3 people occupying hospital beds in Tokyo. Such a situation would garner international attention.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Wolfpack

   @zichi: Tokyo hospital bed occupancy rate 285% (estimate).

I appreciate that you are trying to be informative about the extent of the problem with hospitals during this pandemic but a stat like this should come with some additional explanation.

Check it out for yourself on this tracker to see bed occupancy, number of ventilators, number of techicians.

https://www.stopcovid19.jp/#en

just click on each prefecture.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

WOW, virus existed before December in a bat/ rat/ cat before it escaped at the bloody wet market in Wuhan. That is not a revelation I already knew it existed between a Wuhan food source and Wuhan consumer. I mean it even existed in the bio-weapons lab in Wuhan before December. The important thing is once it started making people sick and being transmitted between people China lied and said it couldn't be transmitted and it wasn't dangerous to people. China communist lied about everything. They lied about how many were infected and dying or dead. They must be held responsible for lying and spreading this on the world.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

Well, a true test is here for the LDP. The party essentially got lucky politically in 1995 and 2011. When the Great Hanshin earthquake hit in 1995 and more than 6,000 people died, the LDP was a junior partner in the coalition government but the prime minister (Murayama) was a socialist. When the Tohoku earthquake and tsunami hit in 2011 and more than 15,000 people died, the LDP was not in power at all and the prime minister (Kan) was a DPJ member. In both cases, Abe and other LDP politicians were mostly able to trash talk from the sidelines while the ruling governments took flak for how they responded to a disaster.

Not this time. Here's a pandemic that's already killed way more people in certain countries than the number of Japanese who died on 3/11. At his core, Abe has really only ever cared about one thing in politics: Repealing or amending Article 9 of the Constitution. He will need to focus his attention on another matter right now. Article 9 is currently irrelevant.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

This is all about manipulation of the masses.

Exaggerate the severity of the "pandemic" to create fear to you can see how quickly the masses will give up their liberty in exchange for perceived "safety."

I've never seen anything like this.

The bottom line is this: how likely am I to do die from the coronavirus? Right? We've all had nasty flus and spent 10 days flat on our backs, but we got over them and went on with life.

But now the media has everybody in a frenzy with all these dramatic stories, but people aren't asking the most important question: how likely am I to do die from the coronavirus? Because most of us don't want to die prematurely.

So let's look at the numbers. Based on the coronavirus tracker stats at Johns Hopkins University of Medicine in the U.S., there are 9,787 officially reported cases of coronavirus infections in Japan, with 190 deaths. That means a mortality rate of 2.16% A little more than 2 in 100 chance of dying from coronavirus. Higher than the normal flu, but not like Ebola or other more deadly viruses.

But that is assuming these numbers are accurate, which they are likely not. Why? Because of the unreported cases, of which there are likely MANY. People who got the virus, had strong immune systems that fought it off, and recovered, often without even knowing they had it in the first place. Take the Stanford University Serology test that was recently conducted on 3,330 people in Santa Clara County, California. It showed that 3.3% of a randomly tested population had coronavirus antibodies, meaning they had likely been exposed and developed immunity to it. But Santa Clara County only had 1,833 reported cases of coronavirus, in a county of 1.9 million people! If this 3.3% number was applied to 1.9 million people in the county, 63,000 could potentially have been exposed to and developed antibodies to the virus. But how many people have died of the coronavirus in Santa Clara County? 78! Which, when divided into 63,000, you get a mortality rate of .1% (0.0012). In other words IF YOU GET THE VIRUS, you have a 1 in 1,000 chance of dying. If you were to do the same math against the whole U.S. population, your chances of dying from the coronavirus is

So the number of people who've contracted coronavirus is the wild card. We basically know how many have died from coronavirus (although these numbers may actually be overreported). If far more have or have had the virus than the official stats suggest, then the chances of dying from this are EXTREMELY LOW, possibly similar to or lower than the seasonal flu.

So why shut down the entire economy, destroy the livelihood of hundreds of thousands of people when you have a 1 in 1,000 chance of dying from this if you catch it? What about all the millions who won't ever catch it? This is nothing more than manipulation of the masses.

The Japanese went through enough with 3/11. Let's not make this bigger than what it really is!

-4 ( +3 / -7 )

"Compare this to the UK, whose free "NHS" (National Health Service), which is already over-stretched (after dealing with the pandemic for longer) :

NHS is massively underfunded & understaffed thanks to years of Tory cut backs!!!

free? no !!high taxes pay for it!

clueless misinformed people everywhere!!"

EXACTLY!

Clueless JT "experts" abound over here.

The UK "policy" seems to be:

Unless you're on your last knees/dead already, NO TESTING FOR YOU AMIGO! NEXT.

UK HOSPITALS ARE ALSO REJECTING PATIENTS. BY THE THOUSANDS!!!!

It's still interesting to come come here to read all the rubbish being dished out, left, right and centre, invariably putting Japan down, whilst elevating all other countries. Gaijin "logic" at work, always protected by the Mods.

"As a foreigner I doubt Japan will treat me,,,"

And yet you did not get back to your lovely country...!

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

@ziggyutah

"...[The] virus existed before December in a bat/ rat/ cat before it escaped at the...wet market in Wuhan...it existed between a Wuhan food source and Wuhan consumer...it even existed in the bio-weapons lab in Wuhan before December...China communist lied about everything..."

There is no evidence to suggest that the lab was used for "bio weapons", nor that the virus was "engineered"

"One online theory, that went viral in January, suggested the virus could have been engineered in a lab as a bioweapon. This allegation has been repeatedly dismissed by scientists, who note that studies show the virus originated in animals - most likely in bats...

> ...[And a] US study of the coronavirus genome published in March found no signs it had been engineered. "By comparing the available genome sequence data for known coronavirus strains, we can firmly determine that SARS-CoV-2 originated through natural processes," co-author Kristian Andersen, from Scripps Research in California, said at the time...

> ...there is currently no evidence that any research institute in Wuhan was the source of Sars-CoV-2...

> ...On Thursday, China foreign ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian addressed the matter at a news conference, telling journalists the World Health Organization's officials "have said multiple times there is no evidence the new coronavirus was created in a laboratory".

(Source: - https://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-52318539 )

There is a video, which also addresses the same issues:

-

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=rbC8_BxGbjM

Another video, dealing with the origins in Wuhan's "wet market", can be watched here:

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=TPpoJGYlW54
2 ( +2 / -0 )

We're also talking about the country where they make you stay overnight in the hospital for a week after you've had rotator cuff surgery on your shoulder, or some other such simple operation from which a Western hospital sends you home happily the same day.

That whole racket of milking money out of simple procedures will be forever knocked off the rails if it's modified to accommodate our current predicament. It's better just to tell people to buzz off when they show up at the hospital.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

@Peeping_Tom

"Unless you're on your last knees/dead already, NO TESTING FOR YOU AMIGO! NEXT."

Although the UK's testing was not adequate, it was, and still is, significantly better than Japan's:

"The UK government wants to do 100,000 coronavirus tests a day by the end of April, but has faced criticism for not increasing the number more quickly. By mid-April, 21,000 tests were being conducted a day, on 14,000 people...

> ...The UK did not start with the resources to do mass testing, unlike some other countries.

> Health Secretary Matt Hancock said: "We have the best scientific labs in the world but we did not have the scale. My German counterpart for instance could call upon 100 testing labs ready and waiting when the crisis struck."

> The UK government also took a different approach at the beginning of the crisis, using a smaller number of labs and keeping more control centrally..."

(Source: - https://www.bbc.com/news/health-51943612 )

"With a population of over 126 million, the country has conducted 32,125 tests over the past month. However, because some people are tested multiple times, Japan has actually only tested 16,484 individuals — or about one test per 7,600 people.

> In comparison, South Korea, with a population of over 50 million, seemingly slowed the spread of the virus by testing more than 270,000 people — one test per 185 people — through a well-organized program.

> Earlier this week, Reuters reported that Japan is using one-sixth of its total testing capacity. The capacity for testing nationwide is 7,500 a day, but the health ministry says they do not need to exploit it now[.]"

(Source: - https://www.businessinsider.com/why-japan-cases-of-coronavirus-are-so-low-2020-3?op=1 )

"UK HOSPITALS ARE ALSO REJECTING PATIENTS. BY THE THOUSANDS!!!!"

Incorrect:

"You should only leave your home for very limited purposes...medical need, including to donate blood, avoid or escape risk of injury or harm, or to provide care or to help a vulnerable person...If you need medical help for any reason, do not go to places like a GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital...for life-threatening emergencies, call 999 for an ambulance.."

(Source: - https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/ )

"Medics at Sheffield Teaching NHS Foundation Trust said some patients had "left their symptoms to go on for far too long" because they did not want to overload the NHS or feared they would catch the virus.

> Dr Jennifer Hill, medical director for operations, said: "We would rather people who have serious symptoms take action straight away to allow us to provide the right treatment in a timely way and prevent full-blown life-threatening scenarios like a severe stroke, sepsis or heart attack."

(Source: - https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-52323908 )

In fact, although deplorable, one London hospital admitted to transferring Covid-19 patients to other hospitals, in order to make room for regular patients:

"Lewisham and Greenwich NHS Trust said it has transferred Covid-19 patients to neighbouring hospitals, as demand for lifesaving treatment surges..."

(Source: - https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2020/03/19/exclusive-london-hospital-trust-becomes-first-admit-turning/ )

The UK also set up a specialist hospital, to tackle low-level Covid 19 cases, in order to make room for more patients at other hospitals:

"Britain’s first coronavirus field hospital will treat up to 4,000 previously fit and healthy peoplestruck down by Covid-19 once it opens, with sicker patients who are more likely to die being cared for in normal NHS hospitals, according to senior sources with knowledge of the plans."

(Source: - https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/mar/30/nightingale-hospital-in-london-to-treat-less-critical-covid-19-cases )

Please feel free to back up your own claims, with cited sources and other useful information. Oh, and it might help to refrain from using CAPS and excess exclamation marks, too.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

@Shinichi Hamada

"...So the number of people who've contracted coronavirus is the wild card. We basically know how many have died from coronavirus (although these numbers may actually be overreported). If far more have or have had the virus than the official stats suggest, then the chances of dying from this are EXTREMELY LOW, possibly similar to or lower..."

I

Incorrect

"Covid-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus, has similar symptoms to the flu. They also spread in similar ways. So it's natural to want to compare the two. But Covid-19 is very different, in ways that make it much more dangerous. And understanding how is key to understanding why we have to take it so seriously."

Watch the following video to see for yourself why you are wrong on this:

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=FVIGhz3uwuQ
3 ( +3 / -0 )

Ok, so you are in the belief that that the food will just automatically fly into the people’s arms, no medicine or access to hardware stores or able to feed their pets, not allowed to get water, no truckers, no plumbers, firefighters, police etc. just stop everything, let the people starve and block them from getting supplies because liberals think America can survive on a pee and should wait at home for 18 months. 

Nice.

Someone isn’t aware that essential services are still operating in the US. Why can’t conservatives do a little research before making comments?

3 ( +3 / -0 )

What I am seeing here from my condo window and I live in a lower end of Tokyo people appear to be taking it seriously.

First, from Wednesday to now I see the train platform can view from my window no more than 20 or 30 people at any one time and fewer outside.

Second, Finally my local mall closed the food court and was happily shocked by this when I entered to go and fill up my water jugs.

Those are what I see on the upside, however, things that have not changed on the street corner everyone is huddled together in the hopes to cross the street first when light changes.

I walked passed a ramen shop that is not changing their hours and saw 4 men in their late 50's or early 60's drinking beer and chatting away not a care in the world.

Rounding up, my area of Tokyo is still showing low number of cases, but, Clearly not to say the number is not higher and or much higher just no testing.

Where the one of highest number of cases is in Minato-ku which is considered the rich area of Tokyo and I have an American friend who lives over there and she stated when she goes out just to get her food that people are sitting outside and or inside coffee shops chatting away, walking around with or without masks and they just do not seem to take it seriously she says.

People say they should self-isolate in their homes case or no case and that is impossible as most places including mine is a rabbit hutch making it Impossible.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Macy, I am praying for your wife's safety.

After reading all these comments I guess I am one of the blessed ones here in Japan, and where I know personally 2 Japanese English speaking doctors and should I be one of the unlucky people to get this would be assured to get the medical attention I need.

Praying for all not only here in Japan but the rest of the world. This is not a time to condemn, however, to show compassion and support for those who are coming out of it and for those who are fighting it.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

This is why they the politician drop their ego and follow other countries lead.

they need to set up 1000s of drive through and walk through testing sites throughout Japan

so that the hospital is not overwhelmed by the people with symptoms which could spread the

virus to other patients and staff. forcing the hospital to shut down.

This other country had its small, medium, large hospitals shut down because the infection spread

throughout the facility, and decided to take the testing out of the hospital and set up drive through and walk through locations.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

COVID-19 is not the only thing people need treatment for, or could die from. Why are hopitals not compelled to take patients in emergency situations? What is the point of having hospitals that refuse to treat people, even amidst triage. Are they saying that every bed in every facility is occupied?

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Yup, not surprised at all. Anyone with a functioning cerebral cortex could have predicted this outcome and it’ll only get worse.

only those who haven't had a frontal lobotomy would think sending people back to work before this virus is contained is a good idea

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I wish at @I@n was here to help me understand since he said:

The numbers are low relative to all other countries. Has been, still is.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Unfortunately I don't think I can help you understand.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Serrano:

Time for a serious lockdown yet, Abe?

I keep hearing these calls for more lockdown, but what EXACTLY do you want, in addition to what is being done already? None of the lock-down screamers has yet given a clear answer.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Chop Chop

Japan needs to lock down totally and give power to thePolice to arrest and fine anyone who break the law.

So, become like Communist China? Thank god, most people do not think like you do.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

To be rejected by 80 hospitals the ambulance would have had to stop at the gas station numerous times.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I guess it must be true then, that most of us have been infected already and that the virus affects cognitive functions.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

@WilliB

"None of the lock-down screamers [have] yet given a clear answer."

1/ Japan isn't on "lockdown":

"Under the law, the Japanese government does not have the authority enforce citywide lockdowns. Apart from individual quarantine measures, officials cannot restrict the movement of people in order to contain the virus. Consequently, compliance with government requests to restrict movements is based on "asking for public cooperation to ‘protect people’s lives’ and minimize further damage to [the economy]".

(Source: - https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/2020_coronavirus_pandemic_in_Japan )

"I keep hearing these calls for more lockdown, but what EXACTLY do you want, in addition to what is being done already?"

2/ People have asked, funnily enough, for more testing, more treatment and an ACTUAL lockdown, plus more social/legal pressure to socially distance, plus ALL of these measures in a swift and efficient manner:

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/2020_coronavirus_pandemic_in_Japan#Controversies_and_criticisms
-1 ( +0 / -1 )

@Peeping_Tom

You do realize that there is not a cure for the corona virus other than your own natural immune system?

Most hospitals, in Japan, do not have the number of ventilators to cope with a large influx of severe cases.

According to the doctors and nurses in several different hospitals that I know, there are on average 8-9 machines only in a medium sized hospital.

To further complicate matters, potential patients with severe symptoms won’t get treatment at any hospital but only at a few selected hospitals.

It is clear that choices are extremely limited.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Check it out for yourself on this tracker to see bed occupancy, number of ventilators, number of techicians.

I see the stats thank you. It says the occupancy rate is 114% overall nationwide. Tokyo 271% now. What do the stats mean - there is no explanation.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I am a family physician in Kobe. Here are my thoughts.

My points:

1) PCR test is not perfect

2) Hospitals and clinics are not safe

3) Take your time to consult by phone or online with trained professionals

PCR Testing is not perfect

Timing is the most important factor in conducting a test for coronavirus. If the timing is wrong, it will be said as a false negative and give a negative result, although one may later become positive. The test indications currently recommended by international agencies are mostly for those requiring hospitalization. For example, it is performed to judge the necessity of isolation for patients who need management such as oxygen administration and mechanical ventilation. The reason is that there is currently no cure for novel corona infections and no effective preventative measures have been established. If a novel corona infection is suspected, the first action we need take is isolation to prevent from spreading around.

Hospitals and clinics are not safe

Also, importantly, healthcare providers are concerned that people who visit the hospitals may catch new infections at medical facilities. To be honest, the medical facilities are already in an abnormal situation where basic infection protection equipment is not available as mentioned in this article. The number of beds left in medical centers equipped with infectious disease management is already at the limit. We are forced to take measures at secondary medical facilities where the prevention against infection such as novel coronavirus is insufficient. In this situation, healthcare workers are concerned that they may spread the infection around to the patients.

Take your time to consult by phone or online with trained professionals

This situation applies not only to hospitals but also to regional medical institutions such as clinics. Going directly to a clinic or a hospital is not a very safe method. Try to consult with trained healthcare professionals on the phone or online as much as possible. Spend your time to communicate. Governments and international organizations are recommending teleconsulting to primary care providers. This is to prevent the spread of novel corona infections spreading from clinics that do not have strict infection control measures. My clinic was lucky enough to be able to quickly switch to online and telephone consultations. However, there are only few medical institutions with such flexibility in Japan (less than 2%). The fact that the Japanese government opened telephone support centers at public health centers from an early stage was of great importance.

Language challenges exist. We need to expect the challenges and take time to communicate. Language barriers are one of the things that governments and healthcare professionals have been worried from the early days. It's not perfect, but the government is making language adaptations as fast as possible. One of them is the following multilingual inquiry center. The government is continuously expanding aid to such organizations. If you are reading this and want to take any action, please go to this NPO website. You can contribute in the form of donations.

Multilingual Hotline AMDA

https://www.amdamedicalcenter.com/news

We are in this together

I am grateful to the colleagues who are out in the field with such limited resources (including most of medical centers and institutions in Japan). They all know that many patients and healthcare workers have died from the virus. And they know that there are only provided with insufficient supplies to protect against the infection. They are doing the best with what they have. I am grateful to the people who are working at the stores and other services that is keeping us maintain our normal lives. They give us hope for normal days to come.

We are in this together.

Stay strong, stay safe.

References:

Testing for COVID19

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/symptoms-testing/testing.html

Telehealth guidelines:

https://www.who.int/publications-detail/home-care-for-patients-with-suspected-novel-coronavirus-(ncov)-infection-presenting-with-mild-symptoms-and-management-of-contacts

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/hcp/preparedness-resources.html

私は神戸で開業医をしている家庭医です。下記は私の考えです。

私の要点

1)         検査が全てではない

2)         医療現場は安全地帯ではない

3)         医療従事者と電話やオンラインでじっくり相談する。

まず検査について

検査にはタイミングが何より大切です。タイミングを誤れば偽陰性といって、嘘の陰性結果を出してしまいます。これはのちに陽性になる可能性があるということです。現段階、国際的な専門機関が推奨する検査適応は、入院が必要な人に対してです。例えば、酸素投与や人工呼吸器などの入院管理が必要な患者に対して隔離の要否を判断するために実施します。その理由は、現在新型コロナ感染症は現在治療法がなく、有効な予防方法も確立していないからです。新型コロナ感染症を疑う場合、私たちが取れるべき対策は周りに拡大させないことです。

医療現場は安全地帯ではない

そして、もっと大切なのは、病院を訪れた人が医療機関で新たに感染症をもらわないことです。この記事にあるように、正直なところ、医療現場はすでに基本的な感染防御備品もそろわない異常な状況です。感染症管理の装備が整っている医療機関の病床残数がすでにギリギリの状況で、感染防御態勢がそもそも不十分な二次医療機関での対応を余儀なくされております。この状況で、現場の医療従事者は自分の安全よりも、患者やその周囲に感染を拡大させてしまわないかを心配しています。

これは、病院だけではなくクリニックのような地域医療機関でも同じです。できる限り医療従事者と電話やオンラインで話をする。しっかり時間をかけて話をしてください。いきなりクリニックや病院に行くはあまり安全な方法ではありません。各国政府、そして国際機関は、クリニックなどのプライマリケア機関への電話やオンライン診療への切り替えを推奨しています。これは、もともと厳格な感染防御設備を持たないクリニック等で新型コロナ感染症が感染拡大することを防ぐためです。幸い、私のクリニックでは速やかにオンラインや電話での診療に切り替えることができました。しかし、そのような柔軟性をもった医療機関は日本には少ない(2%未満とされています)。日本政府が早期から地域保健所などで電話対応センターを開設したことは何よりの救いです。

言語の壁は、早期から政府や医療従事者が心配していた事項の一つです。完全ではありませんが政府は最大限の速さで言語対応を進めています。その一つは、下記の多言語問い合わせセンターです。政府は、このような機関へ継続的に援助を拡大しています。もしあなたが何か行動を起こしたいと思うのでしたら、ぜひこのNPOのウェブサイトへ行ってください。寄付金という形で貢献することができます。

Multilingual Hotline AMDA

https://www.amdamedicalcenter.com/news

We are in this together

私は今も限られた資源の中、現場(これは日本も含めてです)に出て働く同僚に感謝します。働く医療従事者は、たくさんの患者や医療従事者が新型コロナウイルスに感染して命を落としていることを知っています。そして、感染から自身の身を守るための物資が不十分であるのを知っています。それでも、自分たちができることから取り組んでいます。私は、食料品販売や清掃など今まで通りの生活を維持するために今も現場に出てくれている、すべの人に敬意を評します。彼らのおかげで私たちは平常な日々への希望が持てます。

We are in this together.

Stay strong. Stay safe.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

i@n

I guess it must be true then, that most of us have been infected already and that the virus affects cognitive functions.

Then you should stop getting reinfected!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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