The hospital in Osaka, Japan’s second largest city, succumbed to a round of coronavirus cases. Tired doctors warned of a “system breakdown”, beds and ventilators were almost used up, and advised against the Olympics this summer.
The overwhelming speed of the Osaka medical system highlights the challenge of hosting an important global sporting event within two months, especially when only about half of the medical staff in Japan have completed the vaccination.
“In short, this is the breakdown of the medical system,” said Yuji Tohda, director of Osaka University Hospital.
“This Highly contagious British variant Smart vigilance and slipping led to an explosive increase in the number of patients. “
Japan has avoided large-scale infections suffered by other countries, but Osaka Prefecture was the first to bear the brunt of the fourth wave, with 3,849 new positive tests performed in the week ending Thursday.
This is an increase of more than five times over the same period three months ago.
Of the 13,770 COVID-19 patients in the county, only 14% are hospitalized, and most of the rest can be taken care of by themselves. In contrast, Tokyo’s latest hospitalization rate is 37%.
A government advisory group believes that a tax rate of less than 25% is an incentive to consider imposing a state of emergency.
As of Thursday, 96% of the 348 hospital beds used for severe virus cases in Osaka have been put into use. Officials said this month that since March, 17 people have died from diseases outside the county’s hospital.
Dr. Toshiaki Minami, director of the Osaka Medical University Medical University Hospital (OMPUH), said that this mutated virus can make young people become seriously ill very quickly. Once severely ill, it will be difficult for patients to recover.
“I believe that until now, many young people still think they are invincible. But this time it is not the case. Everyone is taking the same risks.”
Minami said that a supplier recently told him that stocks of propofol, a key drug used to isolate intubated patients, are very low, while Tohda’s hospital lacks ventilators that are critical for severe COVID-19 patients.
Satsuki Nakayama, head of OMPUH’s nursing department, said that in the face of intensive care patients, the intensive care unit caused serious injuries to employees.
She added: “I have some intensive care unit (ICU) staff who say they have reached the tipping point.” “I need to consider staff changes to send staff from other hospitals.”
OMPUH has approximately 500 doctors and 950 nurses working, and the hospital manages 832 beds. Ten of its 16 ICU beds are dedicated to virus patients. Of the approximately 140 severe patients admitted to the hospital, 20 died in the ICU.
The head of the local government employee union, Xiao Song Kang, said that the situation of public health nurses in the local health center is also very bad, and they need to liaise between patients and medical institutions.
“Some of them are working 100, 150, 200 overtime hours, and it has been going on for a year now… When on duty, they sometimes go home at one or two in the morning and go to bed just to be woken up. Play at three or four. Phone calls.”
Medical professionals with first-hand experience in Osaka’s fight against the pandemic have a negative view of the Tokyo Games scheduled to be held from July 23 to August 8. The event has been requested to be cancelled Consider the pressure of city hospitals.
Dr. Takasu Akira, head of emergency medicine at OMPUH, said: “The Olympics should be stopped, because we can no longer stop the influx of new variants from England, and the next influx of Indian variants may be a large number.”
He is referring to Variant first discovered in India Preliminary studies have shown that the World Health Organization (WHO) has designated it as an object of concern, indicating that it is easier to spread.
“In the Olympics, 70,000 or 80,000 athletes and people will come to this country from all over the world. This may cause another disaster in the summer.”