"Preventing a medical system meltdown in Tokyo amid a fresh COVID-19 spike"
Chairman of Tokyo Medical Association
Friday, December 04, 2020, 15:00 - 16:00
With novel coronavirus infections surging to new highs across Japan, the government has heeded medical advice to downscale its "Go To" campaign designed to provide discount and bonus incentives for domestic tourism with the aim of reviving the pandemic-hit economy.
When the daily total of new cases topped 2,000 nationwide for the first time on November 18, the Japan Medical Association maintained that "Go To" had given "impetus to the sudden spread." Next day, total infections in Tokyo leaped to a daily record 500 and the Tokyo Medical Association pleaded for a halt to the program – at least in hard-hit areas – to stave off further crisis.
At this writing, the government has only requested provincial governors to reconsider the program in their jurisdictions. Accordingly, "Go To" incentives for visitors to Osaka and Sapporo have been suspended for three weeks. But another hot spot, Tokyo, has snubbed this request and requested eating, drinking and karaoke establishments to close early for 20 days.
The FCCJ has invited Tokyo Medical Association chairman Haruo Ozaki to speak on the COVID-19 measures as fears rise that the pandemic will spike even higher over the winter months. Ozaki, who pushed the government to enforce a pandemic-related "state of emergency" back in the spring, has warned that without effective preventive measures new infections in the capital could go over 1,000 a day by late December, in which case "Tokyo's medical system won't hold up."
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