Tokyo Covid-19 patients sent to neighbouring prefectures: Covid Olympic ripple

Tokyo Covid-19 patients sent to neighbouring prefectures: Covid Olympic ripple

Kanako Mita, Sawako Utsumiand Lee Jay Walker

Modern Tokyo Times 

Tokyo reported a new high of severe coronavirus (Covid-19) cases. Indeed, some patients suffering from coronavirus in Tokyo are now being sent to the neighboring prefectures of Chiba, Kanagawa, and Saitama, according to NHK news. Therefore, from holding the Tokyo Olympics to enormous strains on the health care system in the bat of an eyelid. 

NHK reports about a lady in her 40s who suddenly became seriously ill. Until then, she had been recuperating from coronavirus at home. This news agency says she spent six hours in an ambulance until finally finding her a hospital. However, despite seeking help in Tokyo, the emergency team found her a hospital in Kawagoe (Saitama) which is approximately 50 km from central Tokyo. 

NHK reports, “But no hospital in Tokyo could take her and the woman was forced to spend more than six hours in an ambulance,” until Saitama Medical Center in the city of Kawagoe could help. 

Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga and Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike remain in denial. However, the numbers of new coronavirus infections in Tokyo – and nationally – speak for themselves. The same applies to the health care system and Tokyo patients now being sent to neighboring prefectures (not just near border areas but deeper into prefectures including Saitama).

In other words, while Suga and Koike found beds for athletes to participate in the Olympics at the Olympic Village. The same duo can’t plan appropriately – despite the longevity of the coronavirus crisis – for people who need hospital beds. However, somehow Suga and Koike believed that Japanese gold medals would placate people suffering from endless repetitive failed coronavirus policies. 

Modern Tokyo Times recently said, “Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga and Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike commented that the Olympics went smoothly. Yet, coronavirus infections have increased in Tokyo and throughout Japan since the Olympics began. Indeed, for people recuperating from the coronavirus at home in Tokyo, the increase is elevenfold from only 4 weeks ago. Therefore, for Suga, Koike, and other LDP-connected individuals to smugly repeat the same mantra is shocking – the reality is that the health care system is under enormous strain and many people are on waiting lists or recuperating at home by themselves.”

Miraculously, the number of people waiting for hospital treatment or other types of coronavirus assistance came down from 13,244 to 10,861 within a few days. However, in the land of Suga, Koike, and the LDP, it isn’t solely down to dedicated work. Instead, the number of people recuperating at home increased from 17,812 to 19,396. Therefore, the obvious improvement of one figure equates to people being forced to recuperate at home. 

As usual – Suga and Koike, despite having ample time to prepare for the worst-case coronavirus scenario, were more focused on the Olympics and other things. Hence, the health care system is being put under enormous strain, concerning the lack of planning and the blasé approach of holding the Olympics during the coronavirus State of Emergency. 

The psychological impact of the Tokyo Olympics and telling people to stay home during the State of Emergency ignited disdain. This is based on the utter hypocrisy of welcoming vast numbers of people at the same time. Similarly, for others who enjoyed the Olympics, it seemed that normality had returned based on the over-emphasis of the Olympics grabbing the main headlines. Therefore, like many warned before holding the Olympics, various factors have led to complacency at a time when the highly infectious Delta coronavirus variant (first found in India) is already thriving in Japan. 

Suga, LDP Cabinet members, and Koike come up with the same mantra time after time. In other words, you are on your own economically but they request people to stay home and do telework when possible. 

Now, even people needing hospital beds are also being told to recuperate at home when possible.

Yes, Japan is really a G-7 nation and Tokyo is ultra-modern. However, when it comes to providing an adequate health care system during the coronavirus crisis then everything is brushed under the Olympic carpet. 

Beds, hospital beds in Tokyo? No, try your own bed or possibly a hospital bed in the prefectures of Chiba, Kanagawa, or Saitama. Yes, the Olympics went smoothly, claim Suga and Koike.

Just don’t ask about the increased coronavirus crisis during the Olympic timescale – or what are deemed severe symptoms? Hence, Tokyo’s record high of 197 severe cases is higher by normal non-Japan criteria. 

The reality on the ground is that people are being turned away by many hospitals, people are being sent to surrounding prefectures, and the number of people recuperating at home is horrendously high in Tokyo. Therefore, you currently have 3,667 people hospitalized with coronavirus in Tokyo – compared with a joint figure of 32,022 people either recovering at home (19,396), awaiting guidance for possible hospital admission (10,861), or staying at designated recovering hotels.

This ratio is shocking concerning the longevity of the coronavirus in Japan and the lack of planning by Suga (nationally) and Koike (regionally in Tokyo). 

It is equally shocking for Suga, Koike, and LDP Cabinet members to ignore the repercussions of holding the Olympics and the rapid increase of new infections concerning the Olympic timescale. 

https://www3.nhk.or.jp/nhkworld/en/news/20210811_17/

https://stopcovid19.metro.tokyo.lg.jp/en/ – Tokyo Metropolitan Government website for updates about the coronavirus crisis in Tokyo.

https://toyokeizai.net/sp/visual/tko/covid19/en.html – Japan and Tokyo Covid-19 news with more analysis

https://covid19japan.com/ – Japan regional coronavirus statistics

https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/ World coronavirus statistics

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