Tokyo Governor Koike Visits Facilities The Nippon Foundation Built for COVID-19 Patients [2020/07/20]
With Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike (right) on July 1, 2020, when she visited makeshift facilities The Nippon Foundation has built in Odaiba on Tokyo Bay for coronavirus patients with minor or no symptoms.
I had the pleasure of accompanying Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike when she visited makeshift facilities The Nippon Foundation has almost completed in Odaiba on Tokyo Bay for coronavirus patients with minor or no symptoms.
During the July 1 inspection tour, she went through 100 10-square-meter private rooms built in The Nippon Foundation Para Arena, a dedicated para sports gymnasium, and prefabricated buildings with 140 20-square-meter private rooms and a large air-conditioned tent with 60 beds, both built in a parking lot of the adjacent Museum of Maritime Science.
In the July 5 Tokyo gubernatorial election, Ms. Koike was re-elected for a second term by garnering about 3.66 million votes, or about 60% of the total ballots cast. Polls by media organizations showed that 70% to 80% of voters supported her handling of the coronavirus pandemic, contributing largely to her election victory.
During her visit to Odaiba, wearing a green and gray anti-disaster windbreaker, she closely inspected the facilities, which I took as a sign of her determination to do everything possible to mitigate the COVID-19 pandemic.
At a press conference, Ms. Koike pointed out that the number of novel coronavirus cases in Tokyo, including those with no symptoms, was on the rise again, and expressed her appreciation to the foundation for providing such facilities at this critical moment. “We need to remain vigilant against the further spread of the disease,” she added.
I told the reporters that the foundation initiated the support in the belief that “providing is preventing,” but it now seemed possible the facilities will have to be used.
After their completion, we are turning over the facilities to the Tokyo metropolitan government, which will use them for COVID-19 patients who are asymptomatic or display only mild symptoms in a bid to free up hospital beds for severely ill and high-risk patients. The contracts the metropolitan government has had with hotels to accommodate patients with no symptoms have been expiring, so I expect the facilities will be used for them.
If COVID-19 cases were to spike in a second or third wave of infections, we will ready more beds in the large air-conditioned tent. Out of the 140 prefabricated private rooms, 10 will have two beds in order to accommodate multiple family members who have contracted the virus.