Non-Designated Hospitals Brace for Coronavirus Outbreak

Society Lifestyle

Tokyo, Feb. 18 (Jiji Press)--As the new coronavirus continues to spread in Japan, hospitals that are not designated for infectious disease treatment are scrambling to find ways to cope with the situation.

On Monday, the health ministry announced a set of guidelines on when a person should contact consultation centers dedicated for the new coronavirus originating in China, showing specific examples of symptoms, such as having a fever of 37.5 degrees Celsius or higher for at least four days.

The creation of the guidelines is likely to lead to a surge in the number of people seeking consultations and wishing to be tested for the virus. "We'll gather as much information as possible and do the best we can," one hospital official said.

An official of a general hospital in Chiba Prefecture, east of Tokyo, which is not a designated infectious disease treatment institution, voiced concern. "It would be impossible to handle all of the cases as the guidelines are too broad," the official said. "We will be flooded with patients beyond our capacity."

The hospital plans to set its own criteria for symptoms, based on which the institution will select patients to be accepted because its virus test system and equipment for infectious disease treatment are not sufficient.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press