Municipalities are enhancing their medical cooperation in preparation for a resurgence in new coronavirus cases. They are forming agreements to share hospital beds and medical supplies, building on the experience [this summer] of dispatching nurses to Okinawa. It is thought that a single prefecture will have difficulty handling [COVID-19 cases] on its own in autumn and winter, when seasonal influenza arrives, and this prompted municipalities to quickly join hands.
In August, Shimane Prefecture confirmed cooperation with Yamaguchi Prefecture to mutually accept patients and [requests for] PCR tests if their medical system becomes overwhelmed. Shimane also agreed with Tottori Prefecture to mutually send public health nurses and accept inpatients.
The prefectures of Fukushima, Ibaraki, Tochigi, Gunma, and Niigata will join hands to procure medical supplies and equipment. They drew up a joint declaration to send masks, antiseptic solutions, and medical gowns from prefectures that can afford them, if large cluster infections occur. They will also share information on the status of infections and quickly take countermeasures. (Abridged)