COVID-19 INFORMATION What you need to know about the coronavirus if you are living in Japan or planning a visit.
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Hospitals freeing up advanced care resources for virus response

18 Comments

At least one-third of 86 hospitals designated by the Japanese government to provide advanced treatment have been forced to suspend part of their services such as elective surgeries and emergency care to make room for treatment of new coronavirus patients, a recent Kyodo News survey showed.

The government expected such advanced treatment hospitals to play a key role in dealing with severe cases of COVID-19, but they have been forced to accept people with mild symptoms as smaller hospitals were already overloaded.

In the survey conducted between late April and mid-May, 53 of the hospitals responded and 44 of them said they have been accepting coronavirus patients.

Of the 44 hospitals, 29 said they had to free up some of their personnel, beds and equipment needed in advanced treatment to accommodate COVID-19 patients.

Thirty-five hospitals said they have canceled or postponed some surgeries, with one of them saying all surgeries have been put off, while 13 said they have been restricting outpatient visits.

Norio Sugaya, visiting professor at Keio University specializing in infectious diseases, says local governments need to prepare their respective medical systems now for the second wave of the virus outbreak.

"Municipalities should play the central role in keeping track of available hospital beds in their areas and deciding which patient goes to which hospital," he said.

© KYODO

©2020 GPlusMedia Inc.

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Second wave.......

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

In the survey conducted between late April and mid-May, 53 of the hospitals responded and 44 of them said they have been accepting coronavirus patients.

What a rough survey and jump to a conclusion! There are more than 9,000 hospitals nationwide in Japan, 646 in Tokyo (excluding small size clinics). The story can't be representative.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

But the state of emergency has been lifted. People here keep telling me coronavirus isn’t a problem in Japan.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

One would get the impression that there is this enormous amount of Covid 19 patients overwhelming the hospitals and ICUs but if put into perspective, Japan is a country of 126 million people but has far fewer ICU beds than Canada with only a 37 million people! The main reason is that Japan's ICUs are primarily use for post surgery, accidents, etc... as in Canada and the west the vast majority of ICU beds are filled by heart and stroke patients. But then in general Japanese are in far better health than most westerners all one has to do is look at obesity the cause of all those heart and stoke problems Japan has less than 5% as most western countries are above 30%.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

Luddite

Several factors have made it that the virus did not hit as hard in Japan as other developed countries. For sure cultural practices like not shaking hands, wearing masks, hand washing, no shoes in the houses and toilets located in designated rooms away from sinks, tooth brushes and bath. But most prominent is the low rate of obesity and the complications related like heart disease, strokes, high blood pressure, etc... all one has to do is look at the developed countries with the highest deaths and serious cases and look at their obesity rates higher the obesity higher amount of deaths and serious cases of Covid. The UK has now had 3 separate studies all showing that most of the seriously ill are obese/overweight 73% of all seriously ill are obese/overweight. Obesity in Japan is under 5% UK, Canada, USA, Australia, and the list goes on all 30% or more.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

@Antiquesaving. Please, spare me the myth that Japan is the only country where people wash their hands, take off their shoes indoors, practice good hygiene blah, blah blah. Yep, obesity and underlying health issues do contribute, but spare us the other rubbish.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

Luddit

Tell Mr one western country that does the same, just one where shoes are taken off toilets are located like Japan, etc...

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Country? It’s not the law you know, but many individuals practice the shoes off rule, my family in the UK included. It’s traditional for many people from various cultures to remove their shoes, and these cultures are present in the UK. Do you really believe taking off your shoes helped to mitigate the spread of the virus? Seriously?

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Several factors have made it that the virus did not hit as hard in Japan as other developed countries. For sure cultural practices like not shaking hands, wearing masks, hand washing, no shoes in the houses and toilets located in designated rooms away from sinks, tooth brushes and bath. But most prominent is the low rate of obesity and the complications related like heart disease, strokes, high blood pressure, etc... all one has to do is look at the developed countries with the highest deaths and serious cases and look at their obesity rates higher the obesity higher amount of deaths and serious cases of Covid. The UK has now had 3 separate studies all showing that most of the seriously ill are obese/overweight 73% of all seriously ill are obese/overweight. Obesity in Japan is under 5% UK, Canada, USA, Australia, and the list goes on all 30% or more.

Why does India have a lower death rate and number of cases per capita than Japan? India, a wonderful place, is not noted as the most hygienic of countries.

You seem to be very sure of your reasons and I’d be fascinated to hear your views on this.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

LudditeToday  06:09 pm JST

But the state of emergency has been lifted. People here keep telling me coronavirus isn’t a problem in Japan.

Actually, the major problem besides what antiquesaving mentioned that is health habits and cultural customs is how people react to what the media says.

In western countries the media broadcast news regarding this in a way that make people in panic. When news media just mention the number of death and how it increase, people get stress and as a consequence they have they immunity system affected.

When we give a look on details like age, health background, the place where the person lives, his\her work condition, the quality of his\her food, etc... we start to understand why some countries have different numbers and situation.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

Why does India have a lower death rate and number of cases per capita than Japan? India, a wonderful place, is not noted as the most hygienic of countries.

According to Worldometer India have lower death and case'number per capita than many countries. However, if we look at all details we see that India has increased the number of death and cases recently.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

“Advanced treatment”

What exactly?

Well, there is none

Why are hospitals not attending to surgeries?

Again not answered!

However, the main reason is that hospitals already have a cluster and do not want higher numbers

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Who would have thought maybe the government isn't being that honest no they wouldn't do that..

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Luddite

Do you really believe taking off your shoes helped to mitigate the spread of the virus? Seriously?

Well yes! It is called logic! You go out walk on dirty streets where dogs have done their business (regardless if their owner have cleaned up the germs are still present) you oh into public toilets, walk through bird droppings, rat droppings all manner of garbage seen or unseen. Then you go home and walk in with those shoes on, great you washed your hands when you got home but walk through the home dragging all that is on your shoes around the place. Which do you think came into contact with more dirt and germs your hand or your shoes?

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

Well as people living in Japan know,Japanese don't mind being overly cautious,or as I call it too extra. I mean giving hospital beds for people with mild symptoms is a bit much.A Loxonin and to drink hot water woulda sufficed.Not like in Europe and the U.S. where it was real bad. Just too many damn articles of being too extra nowadays.Need a Map of Reality check.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

I live in Japan here are the pluses from the start people have a culture to wear masks, take off shoes in the home and wash their hands.

Negatives, people are not taking this as serious as they need to, believe everything they hear on the news and not adding up all that they hear.

Mainichi newspaper reported in mid April of a very ill 80 year old man who had the virus in Saitama who desperately tried to get in admitted into a hospital in Saitama and was refused. Why? There were 200 people on a wait list for a bed and he had to wait his turn and died days later, alone, in his home. That is only a month ago remember.

End of April a Sumo wrestler in Tokyo ill with the virus his stable according to the news tried to get him tested for the virus and was refused and when he was and tested positive was not admitted into the hospital though the stable tried over and over a few weeks time. Once he was on death doors an ambulance came and picked him up and drove for 3 hours trying to get him admitted into a hospital and finally a hospital took him in where he died days later. That was this month, MAY, how in only weeks ago there were no beds and now there are beds to spare????

My doctor friend has told me that many of his/her patients recommended for the test were refused and only recently.

The news was out that they were going to test up to only 50 Sumo wrestlers a day for the virus and only if they wanted one and not making it mandatory.

Yesterday, in Osaka people were seen in large groups outside walking around like there was no virus in the world and you watch in a weeks' time there is going to be hundred down once more.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

The pose that anecdotal observations function as some manner of fact, completely lacking in reference to actual data or statistics is simply absurd.

Half-assed quoting of actual facts is illustrated by the 'obesity' factor tossed out with no actual reference.

Comorbidity is associated with SARSCoV-2 aka Covid-19 fatalities: the three key factors are: hypertension, diabetes and obesity. There are numerous scientific studies and academic papers based on actual data that are available on-line that reflect those basic facts, along with an age differential pegged to demographics. There are also papers that provide a sophisticated analysis tracking the spread of the virus citing cultural, economic and social factors which are not purely mathematical conjecture and provide a reproduction number that is more accurate than the 2.6.

To determine folks in Japan are not taking the virus seriously is an absurd statement and the musings of a doctor friend is meaningless. Do deny the population of Japan critical awareness is foolish and has no basis. It is amusing to assert that Japanese, "believe everything they hear on the news," then to cite the news as if fact, is an exercise in unintended irony. It is elementally gossip.

The sumo wrestler who died from complications wedded to coronavirus, suffered multiple organ failure. Suetake, was admitted to a hospital on April 8th, tested for the virus and it was negative. April 10th he was tested again and it was positive. He died April 19th in an intensive care unit.  He fought out of the Takadagawa stable, where six other people tested positive for Covid-19. Two of those were subsequently treated and released from hospital.

Kiyotaka Suetake, suffered from diabetes, a comorbidity that is a high risk factor for severity of the disease. Mortality is threefold higher in people with diabetes, add to that obesity  which is linked to related complications such as secondary bacterial pneumonia. Obesity is a two-fold risk factor, combined with diabetes you have a high risk patient with a low rate of survival. If an incubator is required the chance of survival is 10%. Diabetes patients have impaired immune-response to infection both in relation to cytokine profile and to changes in immune-responses including T-cell and macrophage activation.  Poor glycaemic control impairs several aspects of the immune response to viral infection and also to the potential bacterial secondary infection in the lungs.  Patients with diabetes are high-risk and a complicated group of patients to treat for Covid-19. Suetake didn't die from a three hour ambulance ride or from being denied admittance to a hospital. He was a high risk patient with two comorbidities and SARSCoV-2, the mortality rate is exceedingly high and unfortunately, predicated an adverse outcome.

As for cultures in The West, removing shoes prior to entering the house, it is not an ingrained custom. Individual practice does not reflect a social protocol. The remark about it not being a law is simply silly.

India has surpassed China in the number of cases. China and India have similar populations, in excess of one billion. India, the number of facilities for testing are grossly inadequate and individuals from the lower socio-economic strata are not afforded an adequate level of healthcare, let alone access to testing. The health care system does not have the capacity to deal with a large number of cases. India has only 3.63 public ICU beds per 100,000 population and the per capita availability of ICU beds varies tremendously both between and within states.  India is among the least prepared countries to deal with the pandemic.  The Indian subcontinent is one of the poorest places on earth. Almost 70% of the population live in abject poverty, on less than two dollars or 200 yen a day.  40% of the Indian households live in one room house and conditions are so cramped that, on an average, five persons share a room in the same house and functions as a disease vector.  There is no valid comparison to Japan.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

@antiquesaving Bird droppings? Rat poo? What has that to do with the coronavirus? Are there any instances of anyone getting the virus from their shoes? How do you account for shoe removers Iran and Saudi Arabia having such high coronavirus numbers.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

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