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HOME  > Past issues  > 2022 July 20 - 26  > JCP Dietmembers’ group submits to PM Kishida urgent proposal for dealing with 7th wave of COVID-19 infections
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2022 July 20 - 26 TOP3 [POLITICS]

JCP Dietmembers’ group submits to PM Kishida urgent proposal for dealing with 7th wave of COVID-19 infections

July 23, 2022

Japanese Communist Party Policy Commission Chair Tamura Tomoko on July 22 at a press conference in the Diet building announced that the JCP Dietmembers’ group earlier on the day submitted to Prime Minister Kishida Fumio its urgent proposal calling for government measures to protect people’s lives from the COVID-19 pandemic’s seventh wave.

On this day, the number of new cases confirmed in Japan reached 195,160, shattering the previous record for three consecutive days.

The JCP Dietmembers’ group in its proposal pointed out that with the impact of the replacement of the BA.2 omicron subvariant with the more contagious BA.5 subvariant, the wave of infections has reached an unprecedented level.

As a factor, the JCP group indicated its view that when the government in June relaxed the limit on the number of overseas visitors and the airport COVID testing rules, the entry of the BA.5 subvariant into Japan accelerated. Despite this situation, the JCP pointed out, the government made no preparation for a possible seventh wave by improving healthcare, testing, and public health systems and instead decreased the amount of state remuneration for COVID-19-related medical services.

The JCP lawmakers’ group stressed that the government should face up to the fact that during the sixth wave of infections, more than 10,000 deaths and a record high number of cases where ambulance transportation was difficult were reported. The JCP group went on to stress that based on lessons learned from the sixth wave, the government should seriously work to strengthen the medical system, expand PCR testing capacity, and improve the functions of public healthcare centers. Major demands included in the JCP proposal are as follows:

- taking measures to improve outpatient services which include the provision of financial support to hospitals aimed at increasing the number of “fever” outpatient clinics;
- subsidizing the cost in full for regular PCR testing conducted at medical institutions and facilities for the elderly and people with disabilities;
- drastically expanding free-PCR testing capacity;
- strengthening financial support for hospitals regardless of whether they accept COVID-19 patients or not;
- securing the necessary number of temporary healthcare facilities and strengthening measures to secure the number of doctors and nurses needed to operate these facilities;
- taking steps to improve the functions of public health centers which include a measure to increase the number of regular workers;
- taking necessary action that will enable those wishing to receive a vaccine to be vaccinated;
- tightening the airport testing rules and enhancing the monitoring system in order to delay the arrival of another omicron subvariant like BA.2.75 as much as possible; and
- fully make known to the general public effective ways for good ventilation with the information that ventilation in the home, public spaces, and buildings is most important to reduce the risk of being infected with the coronavirus.

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