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HOME  > Past issues  > 2021 August 25 - 31  > PM Suga expresses groundless COVID-19 optimism
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2021 August 25 - 31 [POLITICS]

PM Suga expresses groundless COVID-19 optimism

August 27, 2021

Prime Minister Suga Yoshihide on August 25 told the press that a light has "begun to become visible clearly ", expressing optimism about Japan's fight against COVID-19. On this day, Japan had a record 1,964 severe COVID-19 cases and the number of newly infected people was the fourth highest at 24,321. As over 50% of hospital beds have been occupied in 33 prefectures, more than 120,000 infected patients remain unable to be hospitalized.

A man in his early 60s in Ichikawa City in Chiba Prefecture was found collapsed at his residence. His brother called for an ambulance. According to the Ichikawa fire department, the man had a high fever with a possible COVID-19 infection, and more than 30 hospitals refused to admit the man. It was four hours later when the ambulance crew eventually found a hospital located about 50 kilometers away, but he was confirmed dead on arrival.

The Fire and Disaster Management Agency data show that there were 3,207 cases in which more than four hospitals refused an emergency admission or it took more than 30 minutes to find an available hospital in 52 major fire defense headquarters across the country between August 16 and August 22.

Unable to be taken to hospital, some cases were confirmed dead in their homes. On August 24, a COVID-infected woman in her 50s who lived alone in Kanagawa's Sagamihara City was found dead at her home.

Japanese Communist Party Chair Shii Kazuo on August 26 said, "PM Suga keeps repeating that 'the spikes will settle if more than 40% of people receive one coronavirus vaccine shot.' This is not true at all. More than 50% of individuals have already received one dose, but the spread of infection is still ongoing. He is sending a groundless optimistic message to the general public as if it were fact. This makes it difficult for people to share a feeling of apprehension." Shii also said that the holding of the Paralympics and the mobilization of school students to go and see the Games have been conveyed to the general public as an inconsistent message, demanding that the Paralympics be cancelled.

The JCP in its urgent proposal released on August 19 emphasized the need to provide medical treatment to all patients based on their symptoms and demanded that the national government review its policy of "home recuperation in principle", expand temporary medical facilities, and drastically improve the home-care system.
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