All national dailies on Saturday highlighted remarks made to the press on Friday by Prime Minister Suga on the ongoing coronavirus resurgence and the considerable strain being placed on healthcare capacities. “Tokyo’s healthcare system is in an extremely severe situation,” he was quoted as saying. “The government’s foremost task is to protect people’s lives.” The prime minister stressed that measures will be taken to support patients who are recuperating at home by maintaining their communication with doctors and public health centers, launching “oxygen stations” so that those suffering from low blood oxygen levels can be provided with oxygen therapy, and establishing platforms for administering antibody cocktails to reduce the risk of symptoms. The premier also promised that the government will make utmost efforts to reduce the number of patrons at department stores, shopping malls, and other major retail outlets in close coordination with their operators. He also projected that four out of five people in Japan will be fully vaccinated by early October.
In a related story, Saturday’s Nikkei said a number of small clinics in Tokyo that have not been involved in treating COVID-19 patients due to a lack of resources and expertise are now preparing to help care for patients recuperating at home in response to desperate pleas for help from public authorities.