Japan to declare state of emergency over coronavirus pandemic

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Much of Japan will enter a state of emergency Tuesday, because the country struggles to rein within the coronavirus pandemic, months after the primary domestic cases were reported.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said that “basic economic activity” will continue in Tokyo, Kanagawa, Saitama, Chiba, Osaka, Hyogo and Fukuoka, the seven affected prefectures, with conveyance and supermarkets remaining open, but urged people to exercise social distancing and avoid unnecessary trips.

The state of emergency, which is predicted to be formally announced at a news conference Tuesday, will last for about one month. The declaration comes as Japan reported 252 new cases of the coronavirus and 7 more deaths Monday, bringing the entire number of infections to over 4,600, with 91 deaths.
Abe has faced criticism for not activating emergency measures earlier, as experts warned truth number of cases might be far above the official statistics suggest, thanks to a scarcity of widespread testing.

Growing concerns
The Japanese capital Tokyo is among one among the country’s worst hit areas, and on Monday doctors within the city declared a state of medical emergency, citing a possible collapse of the healthcare system.
Ozaki Haruo, president of the Tokyo Medical Association, told reporters Monday that the rising number of coronavirus cases could end in a shortage of beds and therefore the spreading of the virus within hospitals, consistent with Japanese public broadcaster NHK.

When this happens, medical staff are going to be unable to supply services to critically ill patients, Ozaki said, adding that subsequent six weeks are going to be critical in preventing an “explosive spread” of the virus.Japan only has seven medical care beds for each 100,000 people, a fifth of the proportion available within the US.

Part of the matter is that authorities had previously been urging anyone with symptoms to travel to hospital, putting additional strain on the health care system. However, Dr. Yoshihiro Takayama, an infectious diseases specialist at Okinawa Chubu Hospital, said that the authorities are preparing to shift to a replacement policy of requiring those with mild symptoms to “self-isolate reception .”

Takayama was concerned however that the amount of cases might be far greater than it appears from the official statistics, thanks to the paucity of testing nationwide.As of last week, Japan had only conducted some 30,000 tests, compared with almost 400,000 administered in neighboring South Korea .

“In some cases, the amount of patients could also be several times, or might be ten times more. i feel it’s necessary to use such imagination and prepare the medical system to affect it,” Takayama said. “The battle has barely begun.”The country is additionally facing a possible shortage of ventilators for the worst affected. As of February, Japan was estimated to possess quite 22,000 ventilators, for a population of over 126 million, consistent with a report in NHK.

At least 40% of these ventilators are already in use, as officials scramble to build up production and source new machines from overseas.

Slow response
Japan, with strong economic and transport links to China, was among the primary countries to report cases of the coronavirus. For an extended time, an epidemic on board the Diamond Princess cruise liner , docked in Yokohama, was the worst outside China .

Despite this long exposure to the virus, the country has been slow to require the type of radical steps seen in many other parts of the planet , and officials have faced accusations of deliberately dragging their feet to avoid greater damage to the economy after the postponement of the Tokyo Olympics, which is predicted to cause an enormous hit.But experts have warned that the failure to reply quickly could end in a far worse situation.

“Japan must have the courage to vary , once we are aware we are on the incorrect path,” said Kentaro Iwata, an infection control specialist from Kobe University, who has repeatedly warned that Japan isn’t doing enough to halt the spread of the virus. “We might see subsequent ny City in Tokyo.”

Iwata said that things within the Tokyo is like that in ny , Spain and Italy just before they saw explosions within the number of cases, and he called on the govt to conduct more widespread testing so as to urge a thought of truth number of infections.The Japanese government says its testing regime is adequate and suitably targeted to high risk cases.

“Testing people with a coffee probability of novel coronavirus would be a waste of resources,” Japan’s Health Ministry told CNN during a statement. “We ask people with some symptoms to remain home for a period of your time .”

A government panel warned last week that hospitals and medical clinics in Tokyo, Aichi, Kanagawa, Osaka and Hyogo were already stretched which “drastic countermeasures got to be taken as quickly as possible.”

Source: CNN NEWS

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