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HOME  > Past issues  > 2021 May 26 - June 1  > Olympic Games promoters despite pandemic hitting Tokyoites will keep more than 2 ambulances at each venue
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2021 May 26 - June 1 [SOCIAL ISSUES]

Olympic Games promoters despite pandemic hitting Tokyoites will keep more than 2 ambulances at each venue

May 30, 2021
The Tokyo metropolitan government will have at least two ambulances (one for spectators, another for athletes) put on standby at 24 venues in Tokyo for the Olympic/Paralympic Games. More ambulances are expected be on standby at large venues. The Japanese Communist Party Tokyo Metropolitan Assembly members' group learned of this plan on May 29.

Amid recurrent waves of COVID-19, it is highly likely that burdens on ambulance personnel will further increase.

Data of the Fire and Disaster Management Agency show that Tokyo has 274 emergency medical teams with 2,640 ambulance staff, as of April 1 of 2020. In the first place, Tokyo's ambulances are sent out on emergencies many times, about 826,000 times in fiscal 2019 alone, for example.

According to the most recent data provided by the agency, the number of cases in which ambulance staff found it difficult to locate hospitals available to accept emergency patients reached 684 for one week from April 17. Of the 684, 177 cases were suspected of having COVID-19 infections. In these cases, the ambulance had to stay onsite for more than 30 minutes until paramedics found an available hospital and they had to ask more than four medical institutions to admit the patients. Such cases have never gone under 400 per week since April 2020.

When taking COVID-19 infected patients to hospitals, ambulance staff should protect themselves from infections. An emergency medical technician who commands an emergency medical team said in an Akahata interview, "After transporting COVID-19 patients who are in critical condition to hospitals, we must sterilize the ambulance interior. To protect ourselves against infections and prevent ourselves from being a source of infections, we take every possible measure. Our workloads have dramatically increased and have become very hard emotionally."

JCP Tokyo Metropolitan assemblyperson Hoshimi Teiko said, "I wonder if the Tokyo metropolitan government understands the situation of Tokyoites suffering from coronavirus-related negative effects and the situation of medical institutions struggling to deal with COVID-19. Tokyo should cancel the Olympic/Paralympic Games and focus on COVID-19 countermeasures."

Past related article:
> Mobilization of many nurses to Summer Games during pandemic will weaken Japan’s healthcare system [April 25 & 27, 2021]
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