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HOME  > Past issues  > 2020 February 19 - 25  > Harassment violates human rights of frontline personnel fighting COVID-19: Disaster medicine society
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2020 February 19 - 25 TOP3 [SOCIAL ISSUES]

Harassment violates human rights of frontline personnel fighting COVID-19: Disaster medicine society

February 24, 2020

The Japanese Association for Disaster Medicine (JADM) on February 22 published a statement criticizing unjust workplace situations of medical workers, who took part in anti-coronavirus activities at government-designated quarantine facilities, as human rights violations.

The JADM statement cited that many medical workers including JADM members provided services, such as health checkups and consultations and support for ambulance transport of seriously ill patients, at facilities to quarantine 800 Japanese nationals returned from China’s Wuhan by government-chartered airplanes. Some of these medical workers provided similar services also on the coronavirus-hit cruise ship Diamond Princess carrying 3,700 passengers and crew which was quarantined in Yokohama Port.

The statement pointed out that although these workers devoted themselves to hard work to save people’s lives on the frontline of the COVID-19 outbreak, after returning to their original workplaces, they faced an unjust situation. Stating that the JADM has received many reports in this regard, the statement referred to some cases as examples of this situation: a worker experienced workplace bullying including being told he had “cooties”, and another worker was blamed by his/her boss for participating in the anti-coronavirus activities on the frontline.

The JADM in its statement said that such unjust behavior should be recognized as human rights violations and added, “We strongly condemn the unjust situation medical workers who returned from the frontline are facing and demand a redress in their situations.”

Past related articles:
> Japanese gov’t under criticism over its poor handling of new coronavirus outbreak [ February 16, 2020]
> JCP Takahashi urges gov’t to provide support to medical facilities to counter new coronavirus cases [February 7, 2020]

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