According to Al Jazeera, Japan and South Korea are deploying military medical teams to support the medical system in areas with severe epidemic due to a new high in recent new cases.
South Korean military medical personnel will be deployed in the COVID-19 testing and case tracking department, while Japanese Self-Defense Force paramedics will rush to Hokkaido and Osaka, which are seriously affected to support local hospitals.
South Korea: People are “tired” about epidemic prevention
On Monday (7th), South Korean President Moon Jae-in ordered the government to “mobilize all possible forces” to increase the tracking of infected people and expand testing by deploying military and civil servants.
On the evening of the 6th, South Korea’s Central Epidemic Prevention and Response Headquarters reported 615 new cases, compared with 631 the previous day, the highest number in nearly a month. In the past January, South Korea has reported three-digit new cases every day, and a total of 8,311 confirmed patients have been quarantined, the highest since the epidemic this year.
The Department of Epidemic Prevention and Response said that compared with the average positive rate since the beginning of the epidemic, the recent positive rate of COVID-19 tests was 4.2%.
Moon Jae-in said that the testing center should increase the operating hours so that office workers can be tested after work and open more drive-thru testing facilities.
South Korea’s health department said that if the trend of new cases continues, the health care system will soon be overwhelmed.
Al Jazeera reporter McBride in South Korea said that the current epidemic in South Korea is “worrisome”.
McBride said that South Korea has been at the forefront of the world in mass testing and case tracking, but systems that would otherwise be effective may be difficult to cope with the current growth. Key places such as nightclubs have been closed since late November, and many people hold private parties in hotel rooms, which is difficult to track down.
McBride pointed out that “Before, the sense of responsibility of Korean society for epidemic prevention has gradually turned into fatigue.”
Since the outbreak of the epidemic, South Korea has never imposed a complete blockade, but has replaced it with large-scale testing and tracing. In the recent third wave of the epidemic, the South Korean government has adopted the strictest epidemic prevention measures so far, including compulsory mask orders, banning nightclubs and other key places, and encouraging home-based work.
On Saturday, Seoul’s acting mayor said that the city had reached a “life and death juncture” and urgently issued new epidemic prevention measures, including curfews in commercial places, public transport class reductions, online teaching for primary and secondary school students, etc., which will be officially implemented from Sunday, at least last week. By the end of December.
However, despite the strict measures, the growth momentum of the epidemic has not slowed down, and the South Korean government continues to be criticized by the public.
According to the data of the Central Epidemic Response Headquarters of South Korea, as of December 7, a total of 38,161 cases and 549 deaths have been confirmed in South Korea.
Japan: Hospitals are “almost collapsing”
Japanese Cabinet Secretary (government spokesman) Katsnobu Kato said on the 7th that at the request of the two places, Japanese Self-Defense Force paramedics are preparing to deploy to Hokkaido and Osaka to help the local response to the deteriorating epidemic.
According to the Japan Broadcasting Association (NHK), two hospitals in Hokkaido, Asahikawa Shinai Hospital, and the private Yoshida Hospital, have both reported cluster infections. The former has confirmed 217 cases and the latter has 184 cases.
Yoshida Hospital reportedly asked the Governor of Hokkaido for assistance from the Self-Defense Forces, saying that the city’s medical system was “hea heavy burden and had no choice”.
Katsunobu Kato said the outbreak in Asahikawa, which has a population of 340,000, is “severe” and the surge in cases has caused hospitals to “near collapse”, according to Reuters.
Osaka City has declared a local state of emergency due to the severe epidemic. Osaka reported more than 300 cases of the coronavirus for the fifth straight day Saturday, according to the Japan Times. The proportion of hospital beds occupied by severe COVID-19 patients reached 66% last weekend, and is expected to exceed 70% early this week.
Yofumi Yoshimura, Governor of Osaka Prefecture, requested the Ministry of Defense of Japan on the 7th to send self-defense force paramedics to support the newly established coronavirus ward. At present, there are only 80 nurses in the ward, and a total of 150 are expected.
According to a poll conducted by Japan’s Kyodo News Agency last weekend, the Japanese people’s satisfaction rate with Prime Minister Yoshihiro Kan’s administration fell from 63% a month ago to 50.3%, and the disapproval rate rose from 19.2% to 32.8%.
Some medical staff and experts believe that the government’s recent financial subsidy program to encourage people to travel has contributed to the spread of a new round of the epidemic, and about 48% of the respondents to the Kyodo News Agency poll hope that the government will suspend the subsidy scheme. According to a Yomiuri Shimbun poll, 57 percent of respondents want to suspend the plan.
According to the COVID-19 data recorded by the Japan Times, as of December 7, Japan had more than 164,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 2,277 deaths.