SDF to Dispatch Doctors, Nurses to Osaka, Hokkaido


Tokyo, Dec. 7 (Jiji Press)--Japan's Self-Defense Forces will shortly dispatch doctors and nurses to the northern and western prefectures of Hokkaido and Osaka, respectively, where the novel coronavirus is rapidly spreading, Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga suggested Monday.

"With hospital beds for severely ill coronavirus patients running short, we're responding to the situation with a strong sense of crisis," Suga told a liaison meeting between the government and the ruling parties on the day.

"We're ready to send the SDF if we receive requests from local authorities," the prime minister said. "We'll provide the utmost support."

At the same meeting, Suga also indicated that the government will decide an additional stimulus package on Tuesday to shore up the economy amid the coronavirus epidemic.

At a press conference earlier in the day, Chief Cabinet Secretary Katsunobu Kato said the central government "will make full infection prevention efforts to curb the number of severely ill patients and fatalities, while closely cooperating with the Osaka and Hokkaido prefectural governments."

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press