Japan News: PM Suga wants to fine people but 15,000 people waiting for Covid-19 treatment

Japan News: PM Suga wants to fine people but 15,000 people waiting for Covid-19 treatment

Sawako Utsumi and Lee Jay Walker

Modern Tokyo Times

The coronavirus (Covid-19) crisis in Japan is increasing in terms of deaths in recent weeks. Thus, the strain on the disjointed health care system in tackling the coronavirus crisis is increasing. Therefore, with deaths now reaching over 5,100 and infections increasing, the aloof government is seeking to take stronger measures.

However, the administration of Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga is once more highlighting how out of touch the current government is. Hence, unlike economic support under the former leader Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, the Suga government is heavily focused on economics, the need to preserve the Olympics, and to punish individuals for the inadequacies of the system.

The irony is unbelievable because more deaths from home are being reported after people couldn’t find hospitals to help them. Thus over 15,000 people in eleven prefectures that are covered by the minimal State of Emergency are on hospital waiting lists – or awaiting accommodation structures that cater for people with coronavirus. Yet, despite the waiting list and many dying at home because of the disjointed health care system in tackling the coronavirus, the leader of Japan wants to fine people or possibly imprison individuals if new laws are enacted.

Ogawa Junya, a member of the Constitutional Democratic Party, poured scorn on Suga. He pointedly said, “Now, many people can’t be admitted to the hospital, so they stay at home without getting treatment, fearful of what could happen. Many people are dying at home right now and you want us to debate jail terms? It’s outrageous.”

Measures in the offing equate to the threat of prison or heavy economic fines. In other words, the same Suga administration that is putting the psychological and economic burden on the people of Japan is seeking to scapegoat ordinary people once more for the inadequacy of the system. After all, his heavy focus on the Olympics rather than people suffering from the economic convulsions of the coronavirus is evidently visible.

NHK reports, “Governors could also require infected people to stay at designated facilities. If people refuse, they could be jailed for up to a year, or fined a maximum of about 10,000 dollars.”

Instead of the Suga administration tackling the chaotic health care system that is putting the burden on a limited number of hospitals – and the abject failure of the central government and local governments in having countless months to solve this – he seeks to fine or threaten people with heavy fines despite a growing hospital waiting list.

The former Abe administration gave individuals 100,000 yen to help with the economic convulsions of the coronavirus. However, the Suga administration seeks prison or heavy fines despite the failure of the central government and local governments in providing hospital treatment when it is most needed.

https://www3.nhk.or.jp/nhkworld/en/news/20210126_03

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