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HOME  > Past issues  > 2020 February 5 - 10  > JCP Takahashi urges gov’t to provide support to medical facilities to counter new coronavirus cases
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2020 February 5 - 10 [SOCIAL ISSUES]

JCP Takahashi urges gov’t to provide support to medical facilities to counter new coronavirus cases

February 7, 2020

Japanese Communist Party lawmaker Takahashi Chizuko on February 6 at a House of Representatives Budget Committee meeting proposed that the government improve a system for diagnostic detection of the novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) and provide various support measures to medical institutions designated to accept patients.

As countermeasures to prevent the spread of 2019-nCoV pneumonia cases, the Health Ministry is now working hard to establish a diagnostic system by providing necessary equipment to 83 Public Health Institutes across Japan.

In this regard, Takahashi inquired about the progress being made and demanded a measure that enables people to take a diagnostic test in their local communities.

Health Minister Kato Katsunobu in his reply said that as of now, 60 public facilities are ready to provide the test to diagnose coronavirus infection. He added that the ministry will set up a counter in hospitals nationwide specializing in accepting any person who may have been infected with coronavirus and will secure the necessary budget for this measure.

At present, 348 hospitals are designated as capable of hospitalizing patients with pneumonia caused by the new coronavirus and they have 1,700 beds in total. However, these beds are used for patients with other diseases in a normal situation. So, the exact number of beds available for coronavirus pneumonia patients is unknown.

Regarding this point, Takahashi urged the minister to confirm the exact number as soon as possible and provide various support to the 348 hospitals, such as a financial assistance to keep some of their beds empty for coronavirus patients.

Furthermore, Takahashi demanded that the government implement measures to counter the new coronavirus in line with the National Action Plan for Pandemic Influenza and New Infectious Diseases which includes a program to subsidize ordinary medical facilities to install a simple negative-pressure device and other necessary medical equipment.

In response, the Health Minister expressed his intent to utilize the action plan to address the current threat to Japan’s public health.

Past related articles:
> JCP Tokyo assembly members demand strengthening of countermeasures against new coronavirus [February 4, 2020]
> JCP Koike demands countermeasures against new coronavirus [January 28, 2020]
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