Hospitals in Japan’s second -largest city Osaka are operating under multiple cases of the coronavirus, running out of beds and ventilators as tired doctors warn of a “system crash” and advise that will not go on to the Olympics this summer.
The pace at which Osaka’s healthcare system is filled with weight has given weight to the challenges of hosting a major world sports event in two months, especially with only half the medical staff. in Japan the invocations were completed.
“Simply put, it’s a collapse of the medical system,” said Yuji Tohda, director of Kindai University Hospital in Osaka.
“Ang most contagious variety in Britain and the fall in agility leading to explosive growth in the number of patients. “
Japan avoided many of the infections experienced in other countries but Osaka prefecture led the fourth wave, with 3,849 new positive tests in the week to Thursday.
That represents a more than five -fold jump in the corresponding period three months ago.
Only 14 percent of the 13,770 COVID-19 patients in the prefecture were hospitalized, leaving most to self-medicate. The most recent hospital rate in Tokyo, by comparison, is 37 percent.
A government advisory panel saw rates as low as 25 per cent as a reason to consider imposing a state of emergency.
As of Thursday, 96 percent of the 348 hospital beds reserved in Osaka for severe virus cases were being used. Since March, 17 people have died from the disease outside prefecture hospitals, according to officials this month.
The change can make even young people very ill, and if it does lead to serious illness, it is difficult for patients to recover, said Dr Toshiaki Minami, the director of Osaka Medical and Pharmaceutical University Hospital (OMPUH).
“I think to this day a lot of young people believe they can’t win. But that can’t be like this at this hour. Everyone is equally at risk.”
Minami recounted that a supplier recently told her that stocks of propofol, a key drug used to rest intubated patients, were very low, while the Tohda hospital was about to reach ventilators. important in ill COVID-19 patients.
Caring for patients with intensive care in the face of the risk of infection has given serious cases to staff, said Satsuki Nakayama, head of OMPUH’s care department.
“I have staff in the intensive care unit (ICU) who say they have reached a breaking point,” he added. “I need to consider changing staff to bring people from other wings to the hospital.”
About 500 doctors and 950 nurses work at OMPUH, which manages 832 beds. Ten of the 16 ICU beds were dedicated to virus patients. Twenty of the nearly 140 serious patients taken to the hospital died in the ICU.
Yasunori Komatsu, who heads a union of regional government employees, said conditions were also dire for public health nurses at local health centers, who interact with patients and patients. medical institution.
“Some of them accumulate 100, 150, 200 hours of overtime and it goes on for a year now… when on duty, sometimes they go home at one or two in the morning and go to bed just to be woken up by a call from phone at three or four. ”
Medical professionals with natural experience in Osaka’s fight against the pandemic have a negative outlook on the continuation of the Tokyo Games, which are scheduled to run from July 23 to August 8. The Tokyo Medical Practitioners Association has has already called for the cancellation of the event given pressure in city hospitals.
“The Olympics have to be stopped, because we have already failed to stop the influx of new breeds from England, and the next could be an influx of breeds in India,” said Dr Akira Takasu , the head of emergency medicine at OMPUH.
What he means is a different first found in India that the World Health Organization (WHO) pointed out that there was concern after the initial study showed that it spread more quickly.
“At the Olympics, 70,000 or 80,000 athletes and people will come to the country from all over the world. It could be a cause of a summer disaster.”