Tokyo Covid crisis results in over 60 percent being denied hospitalization: The Olympics!
Sawako Utsumi and Lee Jay Walker
Modern Tokyo Times
In any other country that held the Olympics during the height of the coronavirus (Covid-19) crisis, then heads would roll if horrendous convulsions emerged. Yet, in Japan, Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga and Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike understand the stranglehold of the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) and electoral apathy.
Thus, at a time when Suga and Koike were focused on protecting international athletes, members of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), international journalists, and others related to the Olympics – the nation of Japan began to witness its highest daily number of coronavirus infections. Indeed, past daily high infections were shattered in countless prefectures during the Olympic timeframe. This is continuing with the Paralympics on the horizon and with Koike wanting children to attend the Paralympics despite the ongoing crisis.
Hence, while Suga was congratulating Japanese gold medalists – and he and Koike were congratulating themselves about the “smooth Olympics,” uttered by Koike – the coronavirus crisis was engulfing the medical health care system in Tokyo. The same strain on the medical system naturally occurred in the neighboring prefectures of Chiba, Kanagawa, and Saitama. This is also happening in other prefectures throughout the country because of recent new daily infection highs.
Within one week of the ending of the Olympics, a shocking 63 percent of people in Tokyo would be denied hospital treatment – despite reporting their worsening coronavirus conditions. Thus during the Olympics, more strains on the health care system were emerging already to a higher degree. Therefore, while athletes were protected inside the Olympic Village – and Suga was contacting Japanese Olympic gold medalists – more people were being denied hospitalization in Tokyo.
August 9 to 15 witnessed a majority of the 2,259 people requesting hospital help being denied. NHK reports, “Sources close to the Tokyo Metropolitan Government say 63 percent of coronavirus patients staying at home in the capital were denied hospitalization despite their worsening conditions.”
As usual, Suga and Koike ignored any possible linkage to the Olympics by moving the goalposts once more, despite the chief medical advisor to the government (Shigeru Omi) confirming that perceptions had changed concerning the Olympics.
Omi said, “The biggest risk is the lack of a sense of crisis, and without it, the infections will further expand and put medical systems under severe strain.”
Omi also said, during the Olympics, “If infections spread at the current speed, it is extremely likely that medical facilities will be strained again.”
Omi equally warned before the Olympics that it was “not normal to hold the Olympic Games in a situation like this.” However, the IOC, Suga, and Koike ignored Omi’s warning. Therefore, instead of Suga (nationally) and Koike (Tokyo) focusing fully on the coronavirus crisis and the need to increase hospital beds and expand the health care system, they focused on the Olympics and took the usual wait and see approach.
Modern Tokyo Times yesterday said, “In recent days, a mother in her forties died at home in Tokyo because she suffered in silence. Meanwhile, yesterday a premature baby died at home after her mother with coronavirus was turned away from a hospital in Chiba prefecture (a neighboring prefecture of Tokyo). However, Suga and Koike, who have failed to provide enough hospital beds for ordinary people suffering from coronavirus, managed to provide beds at the exclusive Olympic village – the sense of priority is disgraceful.”
If you close your eyes – you can envisage an athlete celebrating an Olympic gold medal in Tokyo – Suga, Koike, and the IOC congratulating themselves on a smooth running Olympics and the IOC celebrating all the way to the bank – while ordinary people with coronavirus in Tokyo and the surrounding prefectures are fighting for survival at home because hospital beds aren’t available.
Kanako Mita says, “Yet the deaths of a mother at home to a premature baby dying at home because her mother was turned away because of the lack of hospital beds and equipment doesn’t bring compassion from Suga and Koike – nor shame. Instead, it is on with the Paralympics and putting the onus on ordinary people.”
From gold medals to the majority of people in Tokyo being denied hospitalization during the same Olympic timeframe. It is shocking to most people. However, for Suga and Koike, the usual empty mantra will continue.
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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