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HOME  > Past issues  > 2020 December 23 - 2021 January 5  > As demanded by JCP, number of specialists at infectious disease institute will be increased
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2020 December 23 - 2021 January 5 TOP3 [SOCIAL ISSUES]

As demanded by JCP, number of specialists at infectious disease institute will be increased

December 24, 2020
Akahata has learned that the number of workers at the National Institute of Infectious Diseases (NIID) will be increased by 361, which will contribute to increasing the NIID’s capability in infectious disease prevention and control as well as in responding to infectious disease emergencies.

Along with the 361 additional NIID workers, which includes 300 researchers, the number of staff to be added to quarantine facilities and a Health Ministry department dealing with infectious diseases will be 177 and 30, respectively.

This came out through tenacious Diet efforts made by Japanese Communist Party Vice Chair Tamura Tomoko and JCP Secretariat Head Koike Akira (both members of the House of Councilors).

Tamura in 2013 and 2019 in the Diet criticized the government policy of slashing the NIID budget and jobs for negatively affecting the nation’s infection prevention system, and demanded an increase in the number of NIID staff.

Koike in March at an Upper House Budget Committee meeting urged that the government develop the NIID into a Japanese version of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) by hiring more workers.

With the government downsizing policy, the number of NIID researchers declined to 307 in 2020 from a peak of 325 in 2010. Meanwhile, in 2010, a government panel dealing with the 2009 swine flu pandemic in its report pointed to a lack of adequate preparation for the pandemic. The panel’s report stressed the need for a substantial increase in the number of staff among frontline authorities dealing with infectious diseases, including the NIID, quarantine stations, and community-based health centers.

Past related articles:
> Government workers despite cuts in workforce and budget fight hard against COVID-19 crisis [June 20, 2020]
> Video goes viral showing Tamura urging gov’t to improve anti-epidemic measures in Diet last year [February 13, 2020]
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