Expert Seeks to Focus More on Level of Strains on Medical System

Society Lifestyle Politics

Tokyo, Aug. 18 (Jiji Press)--Japanese public health expert Shigeru Omi said the government should place more emphasis on the level of strains on the medical system when considering whether to lift a state of emergency over the novel coronavirus.

While noting that the number of new infection cases remains to be an important factor, Omi, who heads a panel that advises the government on COVID-19 responses, said the government should take a closer look at the number of severely ill patients, the number of hospitalized patients and other elements showing the extent of medical care availability.

Omi made these remarks during a press conference on Tuesday held after the government decided earlier in the day to extend its COVID-19 state of emergency until Sept. 12 while adding seven prefectures to the list due to a surge in infections.

Omi explained that the number of new cases and the level of strains on the medical system have both been regarded as important factors for decisions on declaring or lifting a state of emergency.

He then stressed the need to focus more on medical care availability, saying that the effectiveness of vaccines in preventing coronavirus patients from developing severe symptoms has become more apparent as vaccinations progressed in Japan.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press