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Tokyo doctors at odds with local government over status of healthcare capacity 

  • July 31, 2021
  • , Asahi, Sankei
  • JMH Summary

Saturday’s Sankei reported on the growing perception gap between the Tokyo Metropolitan Government and physicians in the field about the strain being placed on the local healthcare capacity due to the rise in COVID-19 cases. The public authorities are eager to downplay the perceived shortage of medical resources during the fifth wave of the virus on the grounds that not many elderly people are currently hospitalized. On the other hand, doctors and nurses are extremely alarmed because hospital beds for COVID-19 patients are filling up rapidly and they are concerned that medical resources for non-COVID-19 diseases will be depleted if the upward trajectory continues. 

In a related story, Sunday’s Asahi and Sankei reported on Health Ministry data showing that the number of COVID-19 patients who have had no choice but to stay home as of July 31 almost doubled from a week earlier to exceed 10,000 for the first time. The corresponding nationwide figure was 18,933, 1.8 times higher than a week earlier. While 54% of the beds and 57% of the hotel rooms secured for COVID-19 patients were filled as of Saturday, the daily said the remaining beds and rooms will probably be occupied soon in light of the high number of patients waiting for hospitalization.   

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