tirsdag 28. april 2020

Japan’s Surge in COVID-19 Infections Threatens To Derail Healthcare System

On the front line of Japan’s COVID-19 battle, hospital emergency rooms unmask underlying cracks in a national healthcare system unable to cope with the rise of patients despite policy shifts to reroute medical care around critically ill patients.

Since the state of emergency was expanded across Japan’s 47 prefectures on April 16, the spread of infections has not slowed down enough to help hospitals stay ahead of the influx of patients. In late February, local media reported emergency patients suspected of having COVID-19 being turned away from medium-sized hospitals in fear of a risk of hospital-acquired coronavirus infections. Fast forward two months and hospitals with designated coronavirus ICU beds are nearing capacity as a shortage of protective gear and limited medical facilities make it impossible to accept new patients amid a surge in daily infections.