The number of infected people has increased significantly, the government faces a dilemma

  Japan suffers from the third wave of COVID-19

  Tokyo correspondent Su Haihe

  Since mid-November, the number of people infected with the new crown pneumonia epidemic in Japan has increased significantly, reaching the third wave of peaks.

On the 19th, the country’s new infections hit a new high since the outbreak, and the Japanese government is facing a dilemma between epidemic prevention and control and economic recovery.

  Since mid-November, the number of people infected with the new crown pneumonia epidemic in Japan has increased significantly, reaching the third wave of peaks.

On November 19, the number of new infections in Japan reached 2,363, a new high since the outbreak, among which 534 were newly diagnosed in Tokyo in a single day.

The Japanese government faces a dilemma between preventing and controlling the epidemic and promoting economic recovery.

  In the past few days, the number of infections in many places in Japan has hit record highs.

For the first time in Tokyo, the number of newly confirmed cases in a single day exceeded 500, reaching 534, including 38 severely ill patients.

Osaka Prefecture infected 338 people, Aichi Prefecture also raised its alert level to level 3, and the Miyagi Prefecture Physicians Association issued the "Medical Situation Crisis Declaration."

On the 17th, the Hokkaido government raised the level of epidemic prevention and control in Sapporo City, demanding that people in the city reduce going out and at the same time reduce contact with people in other places.

  Since the beginning of winter, the epidemic in Japan has shown new characteristics, and the key infection areas have spread from the catering industry to enterprises, medical institutions, social welfare institutions and ordinary families.

According to the Japanese Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare, there have been many cases of group infections in medical and elderly care institutions.

As of November 16, there were 2,147 cases of group infections nationwide, mainly in the catering industry, corporate assemblies and public welfare facilities.

Among them, Toyosu Market, the largest aquatic vegetable wholesale market in Tokyo, infected 82 people, of which 74 were employees of aquatic products wholesale business.

A member of the Tokyo Metropolitan Expert Meeting and Director of the National International Medical Research Center Daqu Guifu said: “The epidemic in Tokyo is spreading rapidly, and the future trend is worrying.” On the same day, Tokyo raised the epidemic alert level to the highest level among the 4 levels. This is another warning since the second wave of peaks in September this year.

In particular, the average daily number of infections in the past week has reached 326, which has doubled from two weeks ago.

At the same time, the proportion of household infections reached 42.1%, the highest proportion for 16 consecutive weeks.

  Masataka Inoguchi, vice president of the Tokyo Metropolitan Medical Association, said: “The epidemic is urgent, and increasing the number of hospital beds is a top priority.” The Tokyo Metropolitan Response Headquarters meeting called for an increase in the number of beds for severely ill patients from 150 to 300.

Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike said that the number of infected people has continued to be high in recent days, especially the increase in the elderly who are prone to severe illness, and the medical response capacity is approaching the limit.

  At present, the Japanese medical community's judgment on the epidemic is more severe than that of the government.

At a press conference held on November 18th, Toshio Nakagawa, president of the Japanese Medical Association, called on people across the country to reduce going out and asked people to take strict sanitation and disinfection measures to control the epidemic in a short time.

At the same time, he believes that "the government's promotion of domestic tourism through subsidies is an important reason for the spread of the epidemic."

  At the moment, the epidemic has aroused great attention from the Japanese government.

Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga said that the situation is worrying. He asked the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare to strengthen virus testing for residents and employees of elderly apartments.

Yoshihide Suga also urged the public to "wear a mask during the dialogue and exchanges at dinner parties" and "wear a mask quietly for dinner."

Japanese Minister of Health, Labour and Welfare Norihisa Tamura called on the people to "conscientiously implement disinfection measures and work together to avoid restrictions on social activities."

Yuriko Koike said that although the catering industry is not required to shorten business hours, it requires all stores to adopt strict disinfection measures, and requires guests to "small number, short time, eat quickly, and chat less."

She asked the elderly to reduce going out and called on their family members to reduce gatherings outside and avoid "bringing drugs" home.

  Some places have begun to shorten the business hours of the restaurant industry. For example, the city of Sapporo stipulates that the restaurant industry in the central area must be closed at 10 pm from the 11th to the 27th. The city will issue 200,000 yen to restaurants that cooperate with the government (1 yen is about 0.06 RMB) subsidy.

  On November 19, Yoshihide Suga and Nazuo Yamaguchi, the representative of the joint ruling Komeito Party, announced after meeting that they insisted on both epidemic prevention and control and economic development, and agreed to continue to promote tourism activities on the basis of strengthening epidemic prevention.

The Japanese government decided on the 17th to issue a "cooperative fund" to the catering industry that cooperates with government actions to shorten business hours. The maximum amount per restaurant per month is 600,000 yen. The central government will bear 80% and the relevant local governments will bear 20% of the matching funds.

Previously, the decision to restrict and shorten business hours was ordered by each local government, and the costs were also borne by each local government.

At the same time, the Japanese government decided to extend the time limit for restricting the number of large-scale activities until the end of February next year.

It is reported that the Japanese government is formulating the third supplementary budget, and strengthening medical capacity and securing employment and promoting the economy are still the policy priorities.