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GOJ changes policy on hospitalization of COVID-19 patients

  • August 3, 2021
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All national dailies reported extensively on a GOJ decision yesterday to ask the authorities in prefectures where the coronavirus is raging not to hospitalize COVID-19 patients with moderate or mild symptoms to prevent hospital beds from running out as new cases surge. While most of these patients will be asked to stay home, a limited number of them, such as those with a high risk of transmitting the virus at home, will be isolated at designated hotels. Since all coronavirus patients were required to be admitted to hospitals under the previous public health regulations, the decision marks a major policy turnaround. The GOJ reportedly had no choice but to change course in the face of the looming possibility of the collapse of the healthcare system in certain prefectures. In order to enhance the monitoring of patients’ health conditions at home, the GOJ plans to take measures such as offering them telemedicine services and pulse oximeters. Some doctors and local public health center officials have reportedly expressed concern that they will be held responsible for swiftly and accurately determining whether patients are suffering from serious or moderate symptoms.

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