SDF Offers Limited-Time Support to Coronavirus Patients

Society

Tokyo, April 20 (Jiji Press)--Japan's Defense Ministry has put a time limit of about one week to many of the Self-Defense Forces' disaster relief missions providing living assistance to coronavirus patients with mild symptoms at accommodation facilities.

The duration of the SDF's disaster relief missions, carried out at the request of local authorities, is not set beforehand in many cases. But the ministry judged that SDF officers are not needed to provide living assistance, such as carrying meals to designated locations without meeting coronavirus patients, if thorough infection prevention measures are in place.

The ministry also aims to establish a division of roles after the SDF's initial responses, by providing its know-how on putting on and taking off of protective suits to local and private-sector officials.

"The SDF will engage in initial activities including living assistance and logistics support, and switch tasks smoothly after a week," Defense Minister Taro Kono said.

By getting local governments and private companies to do what they can, the ministry aims to set aside some SDF resources to prepare for the possibility of an explosive rise in coronavirus cases or a large-scale natural disaster.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press