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Outpatient clinics overstretched by rapid spread of Omicron

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"Few people have severe symptoms”

Currently, most people coming for tests have only mild symptoms, meaning bed space is still available.

Key points to dramatic headline.

11 ( +33 / -22 )

Occasionally coughs could be heard.

The horror...

20 ( +39 / -19 )

Outpatient clinics overstretched by rapid spread of Omicron

Here we go, even though Omicron does not show the same effects as Delta.

With increasing numbers this will be the major problem in the days and weeks to come.

-2 ( +19 / -21 )

Occasionally coughs could be heard.

another day at the office for me... some people can't beat a good hack in a stuffy room with their colleagues.

15 ( +24 / -9 )

ministry said Monday young people with low risk of severe COVID-19 symptoms can recuperate at home instead of going to hospitals

Similar like during first wave, young people just being abandoned only to be told to stay at home. Some of them couldn't make it.

https://japantoday.com/category/national/relatives-of-virus-dead-question-japan's-stay-at-home-policy

6 ( +18 / -12 )

So they're overstretched by the number of people wanting to get tested, not people they are treating. Here's an idea. Open up some dedicated testing facilities in major urban areas to relive the hospitals from this burden.

27 ( +35 / -8 )

And what is it witch Japan continuing to focus on fever. Data from other countries show that fever is only present in around 25% of omicron cases. The messaging needs to change. Now the most common symptoms indicating omicron infection are runny nose, sore throat and cough, which are something like 75% of cases.

14 ( +23 / -9 )

The Flu has arrived like it does every year.

4 ( +19 / -15 )

The system here is broke to begin with.

People here go to the doc with even the slightest cold symptoms long before the pandemic was a thing. Slight sniffles? Doc. Throat starting to feel a bit scratchy? Doc. Back home you'd just grab something from local drugstore and recoup at home.

Of course the system is going to be "overstretched" if every person with a hiccup goes to get tested.

31 ( +40 / -9 )

Outpatient clinics overstretched

No wonder, if people who has a stomach ache, but even no fever, go there and want a Covid test.

0 ( +13 / -13 )

Japan's health ministry said Monday young people with low risk of severe COVID-19 symptoms can recuperate at home instead of going to hospitals in regions where medical systems are expected to be strained.

This is all well and good to say, but how do people know if they are low risk patients? People need to see a doctor to find out.

3 ( +16 / -13 )

young people with low risk of severe COVID-19 symptoms can recuperate at home instead of going to hospitals

Sounds like young people were requesting to go to the hospital. Hard to imagine.

Many clinics are not treating or checking for covid patients, so are not overstretched. When it comes to covid, media do not often mention that we are talking about dedicated hospitals, not all health facilities.

My local public hospital, the main in the city, is not designated for covid testing or patients, I have been a few times since the start of the pandemic and it was busy as usual. It has not been disrupted at all.

4 ( +9 / -5 )

Fuzzy  07:38 am JST

Here's an idea. Open up some dedicated testing facilities in major urban areas to relive the hospitals from this burden.

Here’s an idea. Educate yourself before spreading your @Fuzzy misinformation.

As of January 25, free tests were bring provided at about 270 locations. They include medical institutions, drugstores and private venues certified by the Tokyo Metropolitan Government.

https://www3.nhk.or.jp/nhkworld/en/news/backstories/1857/

-8 ( +10 / -18 )

The flu is more deadly than Omicron. No one is panicking over the flu, so why are we doing so with Omicron? Yes, it's more contagious, but the symptoms are mild, like a cold for most.

-2 ( +14 / -16 )

Japan has had 2.1 years to prepare for this. But...

15 ( +23 / -8 )

Are we really talking about people walking into clinics with with a runny nose and itchy throat?

10 ( +17 / -7 )

The flu is more deadly than Omicron. No one is panicking over the flu, so why are we doing so with Omicron? Yes, it's more contagious, but the symptoms are mild, like a cold for most.

If the flu is more deadly than omicron them it should be causing more deaths now.

Is it?

2 ( +14 / -12 )

Sounds like its just people wanting to get tested or mildly sick people wanting a doctor's note to miss work or a prescription for some medicated cough syrup. I agree, as others have said, "The flu is more deadly than Omicron."

2 ( +13 / -11 )

Lol

-1 ( +6 / -7 )

If Japan had a turnaround of testees in minutes instead of hours then they wouldn’t have so many people waiting around -less paper more speed….

11 ( +15 / -4 )

Ian

Interesting article. The data suggests otherwise. more contagious that flu, less deadly.

https://www.thinkglobalhealth.org/article/sensible-approach-omicron

-2 ( +9 / -11 )

Why is this such an anethema to the government?

The culture here is to run to ICU with a runny nose. this needs to be changed, somehow.

Make test and trace FREE and easy to obtain. Stop giving 'control' of the distribution to hospitals, or cartels jacking up the price. And give the instruction to stay at home for x number of days if you test positive

And wow, hospitals relatively more freed-up

11 ( +14 / -3 )

The medical system is already stretched close to its limit ??!!

Japan has a rate of infection that is a small fraction of what is happening in Europe and the US.

The 7 day average for new daily cases per million people in Japan is about 430.

In most of Europe and the US it is between 2000 and 6000, with places like Denmark at 7000 and Israel at over 10,000.

For Japan to be at 2000 per day per million (the lower end for countries with Omicron waves), then Japan would need to be seeing a 7 day average of 250,000 cases per day, which would mean Tokyo would be showing 50,000+.

4 ( +9 / -5 )

falseflagsteve

If the flu is more deadly than omicron them it should be causing more deaths now.

Is it?

-2 ( +10 / -12 )

This is all well and good to say, but how do people know if they are low risk patients? People need to see a doctor to find out.

No. It's pretty clear-cut. If you are not on the verge of death - i.e., extreme old age, severe underlying conditions, then you are low-risk for Omicron. No need to waste your time or the doctor's time.

-4 ( +6 / -10 )

So how about mandating all hospitals step up and take patients? And stop making people line up to write down their symptoms and fill out mountains of forms before dithering and then finally making a decision?

Japan always complicate things with a lot (and I mean a lot) or red tape meeting and bureaucracy. With Omicron, time is of the essence. You knew it would inevitably come. So, just get on with dealing with it, for goodness sakes!

8 ( +11 / -3 )

Two years into this pandemic, and I just don't understand why Japan is still not setting up places dedicated to rapid testing, like drive-thru's or walk-ins. People get tested and if they're positive and only suffer mild or no symptoms they go home and isolate. Hospitals and clinics are being pressurized for no reason. Why is it that in some countries, rapid testing is freely available and yet Japan still makes it so difficult? And why are they not doing anything to speed up boosters. All my relatives had their booster jabs months ago.

10 ( +13 / -3 )

Here’s an idea. Educate yourself before spreading your @Fuzzy misinformation.

*“As of January 25, free tests were bring provided at about 270 locations. They include medical institutions, drugstores and private venues certified by the Tokyo Metropolitan Government.”*

What you are quoting is for Tokyo only and the free test program is until January 31st only at this stage.

Different situation in different parts of the country

8 ( +10 / -2 )

@Asiaman7

What misinformation?

There's obviously not enough of them if hospitals are still overstretched now is there.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

Hospital usage for Covid was 38% on Monday. I don't see an overstretched situation with hospitalization. But may be they are busy with testing for sure.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

From experience we've learned that doctors won't test children unless they have severe symptoms or they're known to have spent time with someone who has tested positive. Doctors won't test adults unless a close contact has tested positive. Pharmacies have few to no tests available, and won't give you them if you have ANY symptoms. Instead, they tell you to go to a doctor, who, as I said above, won't test you unless a close contact has tested positive.

Without a positive test we have to go to work. We can't rest at home because then we waste our annual leave. If we test positive we don't use our annual leave.

9 ( +11 / -2 )

Elderly go to the hospitals every day for free TV and AC/Heat. Now they have perfect excuse, "I gots to get tested I tells ya". They are the ones over-running the hospitals.

Sniffles, go to the hospital. Cough. go to the hospital. Slight constipation, go to the hospital.

They even use the ambulances for personal taxis.

13 ( +18 / -5 )

FuzzyToday  07:40 am JST

And what is it witch Japan continuing to focus on fever. Data from other countries show that fever is only present in around 25% of omicron cases. The messaging needs to change. Now the most common symptoms indicating omicron infection are runny nose, sore throat and cough, which are something like 75% of cases.

4 out of 6 people I know who have confirmed Omicron cases have posted a fever beyond 38.3°C. Some of them say they feel tired and achy with low energy levels.

3 ( +9 / -6 )

kyushubillToday  09:06 am JST

Elderly go to the hospitals every day for free TV and AC/Heat. Now they have perfect excuse, "I gots to get tested I tells ya". They are the ones over-running the hospitals.

Sniffles, go to the hospital. Cough. go to the hospital. Slight constipation, go to the hospital.

They even use the ambulances for personal taxis.

My grandmother called the ambulance on a minor stomach ache before and it was embarrassing to have to answer the door. This free ambulance system is nice but it pisses me off when it gets abused like this.

13 ( +16 / -3 )

@SDCA

I believe you, but a sample size of 6 isn't very robust. I'm going off the data I've seen from the UK which is based on hundreds of thousands of cases. Fatigues and headache are two other very common omicron symptoms I didn't mention above.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

Most other countries have home tests easily available. Many also have dedicated centres for testing.....NOT regular hospitals where actual confirmed sick people go. Some even had drive through testing facilities......but no Japan plods along at a snails pace reacting late as usual.

Only go to the hospital if you feel short of breath or your fever is not abating......if you have cold n flu symptoms stay at home until they pass....FFS

12 ( +13 / -1 )

Why don't they stay home with mild symptoms?

2 ( +5 / -3 )

I woke up today and decided to go to take a test for covid as my back hurt.

-1 ( +10 / -11 )

I have all the symptoms of omicron at the moment.

The symptom I don’t have is a fever.

To me it feels like a mild flu-will I go to hospital?

No need…

0 ( +5 / -5 )

While percentage is low, more infections means more deaths.

Worse is more chance for mutations. This is the most dangerous fact that anti-vaxxers don’t quite understand.

3 ( +9 / -6 )

There are sites for free testing in many large cities, however, in my area, the walk-in free testing sites are ONLY for people who have no symptoms. So people with mild cold symptoms still have to go through all the hassle of going to an official clinic or hospital which are over-run.

We just didn't bother getting tested and self-quarantined which is possible when you're self-employed thankfully.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

This was a pretty informative article explaining how exactly one clinic has been impacted, the exact numbers and how they've dealt with it by having restaurant workers work as receptionists for patients and such.

The government really should have prepared during the past fall to set up mass testing and receiving sites, especially after the massive numbers around the Olympics. This is the 6th wave after all and we all saw it coming.

I'd love to have my tax dollars used for proactive measures rather than reactive ones. I'm not paying this government to always be on its heels.

10 ( +11 / -1 )

My wife works at a hospital where they have obviously been offering boosters for the past month and she said that many of the staff around her had more side effects for the 3rd shot than the previous two. A handful had to take more time off work than intended and a couple experienced side effects for a couple weeks which sounded like a much worse time than the symptoms of Omicron itself. 

Thankfully, no one seems to be suffering from after effects anymore, although a bunch have lost weight after complaining of no appetite. She also noted that nurses and doctors were calling in sick everyday at a notably higher rate after the boosters and Omicron started. Things have calmed down now but the hospital was scrambling to cover shifts for a while. 

I live in the countryside where things are easier to keep under control but I had heard last week that hospitals in cities were dealing with similar short staff issues now that many people are taking time off when they have symptoms. Some choose to forego the PCR test and will never register as a positive case.

It's not just increased demand for PCR tests and Omicron causing problems as there are many other factors putting the system (inpatient/outpatient) under strain. 99.25% of the causes of death in Japan are non-coronavirus related.

Just passing it along. Plan accordingly.

5 ( +8 / -3 )

gintonic 09:04 am JST

What you are quoting is for Tokyo only and the free test program is until January 31st only at this stage.

The free test program continues until February 13 (and will be extended as needed) and addresses @Fuzzy’s suggestion of “testing facilities in major urban areas.”

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

that photo it says it all...

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Occasionally coughs could be heard.

No way! Coughs you say, in January, in a clinic in the northern hemisphere?! I'm astounded and scared, we need more boosters, masks and lockdowns NOW!

-2 ( +6 / -8 )

How long has the government had to prepare for this?? Two years, over two years!!

if they can’t get a handle on it by now they deserve to lose their jobs. Enough already!!

7 ( +10 / -3 )

What you are quoting is for Tokyo only and the free test program is until January 31st only at this stage.

The free test program continues until February 13 (and will be extended as needed) and addresses @Fuzzy’s suggestion of “testing facilities in major urban areas.”"

I dont doubt the program will be extended if the budget & circumstances allow ( I assume you quote Tokyo Metro govt extention ) ... and yes, some other urban areas now do the same, the programs are run via respective prefectural governments, the information I was given when i did the test a coouple days ago in my area was that its till Jan 31st. Depends on the area & local govt resources. Countryside folk dont have the same access to the program as urbanites from what I was told.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@Ego Sum: Full disclosure from you please. I know you are now and I know your objections to vaccine are religious based - so less of your rubbish here pls.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

The photo is comedic gold.

"Person catches cold, while waiting for covid-19 PCR test result,

outdoors in winter."

2 ( +6 / -4 )

‘’How long has the government had to prepare for this?? Two years, over two years!!

if they can’t get a handle on it by now they deserve to lose their jobs. Enough already’’

Although I agree, In my opinion there is simply no handle to get a grip on now. Omicron, and the new Omicron variant which appears to spread even more easily, are out of the bag.

Thankfully vaccinations are proving to be effective at avoiding severe symptoms.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

had more side effects for the 3rd shot than the previous two.

Yes!

My coworkers wife is a nurse and she got her 3erd shot last week.

She was down with a fever of 39.5 for 3 days!

Crazy! 39.5 fever for 3 days!

Damned, what kind of fluid is that which they want to inject in our arms?

And just effective for 10 weeks until it goes down to 40%.

0 ( +7 / -7 )

Ian

You don’t appear to understand the difference before deadly and contagious. More people currently have Omicron than flu at present, so naturally there would be more severe cases and deaths. Omicron is more contagious but less deadly. In fact with the under 10’s in Japan there have been zero deaths from Omicron, in fact zero Covid deaths at all. This shows why vaccines are not good for that age. Also new studies show that vaccines do not reduce the viral load in under 17’s, so vaccinating them ones not protect the elderly.

Monty

And now they are working in an Omicron vaccine, this is all beyond a joke now and many are waking up to the money grab.

-1 ( +6 / -7 )

All the people who get cold go to hospitals and get tested.→Hospitals are overflown with sick people.It’s a simple logic.The omicron variant is some kind of cold for young people,so,what they have to do is not going to a hospital ,but staying in their own room and being isolated from other people.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Once again, the tired tag line: the flu is more deadly than omicron covid virus. SARSCoV-2 is not the flu anymore than it is rhinovirus. Omicron is highly contagious and its effects are mitigated by being vaccinated.

Being fully vaccinated and the booster shot will prevent adverse effects. Switzerland, which is fastidious in keeping records - a study involving the entire country reveals an 0.014% hospitalization rate for SARSCoV-2 and an 0.027 hospitalization rate for omicron.

Anecdotal musings which are more appropriate to gossip fail to accurately portray omicron and the more than apparent path of the virus. Members of any anti-vaxxing cult can go join Meatloaf, who refused to wear a mask (it made his nose itch) and be inoculated with the vaccine - he's dead.

Omicron is highly infectious, at a minimum ten times that of delta variant and more virulent than rhinoviruses or influenza variants.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

The government should just hand testing kits out.

Ultimately, what matters is whether people who test positive self isolate for a suitable period to control the spread of the disease. That has very little to do with whether an approved center conducted the test. You could just as easily test postive at a hospital and then break quarantine to go somewhere, to work, to pachinko, to Starbucks, etc.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

zichi Today  11:16 am JST

if the boosters make you lose weight, I better have two jabs to be sure.

In my experience the easiest way to lose weight is to not eat when hungry.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Richard Gallagher

Yes, Omicron is more contagious but less fatal. In fact no kiddies in Japan died of Covid since the pandemic started, nobody here wants to discuss that.

Around half those found to be positive for Covid in hospital were admitted for another reason and were found to be infected.

Still don’t see the media showing data that prior infection is better than vaccines than offering protection, as shown with Delta.

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

Tests and resources should only be used on those with symptoms.

It's a waste of time and money otherwise.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Can't answer a simple question falseflagsteve?

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Ian

provided proof with an earlier link. Everything I post is backed up with data and facts unlike most of the stuff we see here, speculation and unable to decipher fact from fiction.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

The surge in people infected with the coronavirus amid the spread of the highly contagious Omicron variant is causing apprehension at outpatient clinics, generally the first stop for individuals to check if they have the virus.

If you have to check if you have it, then by definition you do not have a problem with it. Face it, everyone is going to get infected with Omicron, and the vast majority will not even notice it.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

blue in green  12:49 pm JST

The photo is comedic gold.

"Person catches cold, while waiting for covid-19 PCR test result, 

outdoors in winter."

Comedic gold comes in many forms.

“One myth that needs to get busted: Getting chilly or wet doesn't cause you to get sick.”

https://www.webmd.com/cold-and-flu/cold-guide/understanding-common-cold-basics#1

1 ( +1 / -0 )

provided proof with an earlier link. Everything I post is backed up with data and facts unlike most of the stuff we see here, speculation and unable to decipher fact from fiction.

Then post here your data.

How many deaths for flu and omicron over the same period of time at present?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Richard Gallagher

Once again, the tired tag line: the flu is more deadly than omicron covid virus. SARSCoV-2 is not the flu anymore than it is rhinovirus. Omicron is highly contagious and its effects are mitigated by being vaccinated.

It is highly contagious and extremely mild, compared to other variants. And the mitigation by vaccination is, depending on what statistics you look at, something like fron 0.5 death rate to 0.05 death rate.... yes, you can that is 10 fold or you can say that is from almost nothing to almost nothing. Glass half full or half empty?

In addition, the CDC just admitted that a previous infection mitigates Covid effects as good if not better than any of the current vaccination. And those counted as "unvaccinated" of course includes those protected by previous infection.

So many confusing factiods bandied about, so little perspective.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I’ve seen a patient with Omicron, there was a certain amount of delirium

Taste and smell affected.

Pain in the joints etc

If what I have now is Omicron then it is absolutely milder than Delta.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Ian

Either you couldn’t understand my link and my summary of the data or you didn’t look at it

in layman’s terms, “ how many are in hospital in Japan at present for Delta Vs Omicron? We know the Omicron variant is multiple times milder than Delta, yet the vast majority will be in hospital with Omicron as it’s the dominant strain.

Now, let’s say if we had 10,000 people with flu and 10,000 with Omicron who would be hospitilzed the greater. The data says it would be the people with flu. There are less people at the moment with flu compared to Omicron, so there would of course be less of them in hospital. This does not mean it is a more deadly virus if a person were to become infected

0 ( +2 / -2 )

So many confusing factiods bandied about, so little perspective.

Then I suggest you just concentrate on one and get it from one source.

Deaths/1M pop from worldometer, for example.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

WilliB

Great points, all factually correct and agreed upon by the majority of experts.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Ian

can you show info from that site ( which you said is the only one you use), that shows Omicron Vs Flu severity. Omicron, not all Covid which includes previous variants. The discussion is about Omicron not previous variants anymore.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

falseflagsteve

The more people a disease kills the more deadly it is.

As I said above look at mortality rate .

Case fatality rates alone does not determine how deadly it is. How infectious it is determines it in large part.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

can you show info from that site ( which you said is the only one you use), that shows Omicron Vs Flu severity. Omicron, not all Covid which includes previous variants. The discussion is about Omicron not previous variants anymore.

Lol that's what I asked you to post, the data re flu and omicron deaths, because you keep saying flu is more deadly than omicron.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Ian

posted earlier the link about Flu and Omicron hospitalisations. Maybe you didn’t understand it.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

can you show info from that site ( which you said is the only one you use)

i didn't say that btw, something wrong with your comprehension

2 ( +3 / -1 )

posted earlier the link about Flu and Omicron hospitalisations. Maybe you didn’t understand it.

There's no need for me to read it, just post here the number of deaths for flu and omicron.

Anyway nevermind

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Ian

you are still incapable of understanding the difference between death y cases number and just death. Contagiousness of a virus is not the same as fatality. Should be common knowledge by the age of 12 or so.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Two years into this pandemic, and I just don't understand why Japan is still not setting up places dedicated to rapid testing, like drive-thru's or walk-ins. People get tested and if they're positive and only suffer mild or no symptoms they go home and isolate. "

Sounds like an idea....let's set up a zillionth expert panel and have a round of meetings about that.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Have you gotten your flu vaccination coupon yet?

I heard that's the reason the covid booster is delayed, they shifted focus to mass vaccination for the more deadly influenza =)

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

you are still incapable of understanding the difference between death y cases number and just death. Contagiousness of a virus is not the same as fatality. Should be common knowledge by the age of 12 or so.

Keep making strawmen =)

Meanwhile I addressed that above, try understanding mortality rate and case fatality rate or infection mortality rate =)

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

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