The Nippon Foundation Completes Makeshift Facilities with 250 Beds for COVID-19 Patients [2020/08/07]
The Nippon Foundation Para Arena which houses 100 private rooms for COVID-19 patients is seen on the left, and 14 prefabricated houses with 150 beds and a large air-conditioned tent for doctors and nurses on the right.
The Nippon Foundation has completed 2 billion yen ($19 million) makeshift facilities in Odaiba on Tokyo Bay with 250 beds for novel coronavirus patients with minor or no symptoms.
The facilities shown to the media on July 30 included 14 prefabricated houses with a total of 140 20-square-meter air-conditioned private rooms each with a television set, refrigerator and laundry facilities. Built in a parking lot of the Museum of Maritime Science, operated by our partner organization, 10 out of the 140 rooms will have two beds so as to accommodate members of the same family who have contracted the virus.
In May, the foundation already completed 100 10-square-meter private rooms in The Nippon Foundation Para Arena, a dedicated para sports gymnasium, in the same compound. Showers and toilets were built outside. If necessary, we are to ready to increase to 600 the total number of beds available at these facilities.
Besides, we set up a large air-conditioned tent where doctors and nurses will stand by. Patients can summon nursing staff via a nurse call system from their rooms.
These facilities are designed to free up hospital beds for severely ill and high-risk patients and remove some of the strain on hospitals now seen as likely to become overcrowded with COVID-19 patients.
We are currently in consultation with officials of the Tokyo metropolitan government to work out operational details, including when to start running the facilities.
Given a rapid increase in the number of new COVID-19 cases in Tokyo and the whole nation, it is my sincere hope that these facilities will be used without delay.
I believe the Odaiba facilities, named The Nippon Foundation Disaster Emergency Support Center, will help the nation’s capital combat not only a second and third wave of coronavirus infections with no vaccine or effective treatments developed yet, but also cope with a major disaster such as a huge earthquake, typhoon or other natural calamity hitting Japan simultaneously with a new outbreak of COVID-19.
The foundation is undertaking this project, first announced in early April, as the first of our three-phase initiatives in response to the coronavirus pandemic.
In the second phase, we have launched a 500 million yen project to help transport to and from hospital coronavirus patients with mild symptoms, and doctors and nurses working around the clock to combat COVID-19.
We have teamed up with major taxi operator Nihon Kotsu Co. to lease up to 100 specially designed vehicles for transporting COVID-19 patients with slight symptoms to and from hospital. To prevent airborne droplets from the patient reaching the driver, the interior of the vehicle is divided into two compartments. A fan will continuously extract air from the rear compartment.
The foundation has also distributed taxi vouchers worth up to one million yen to each of 37 medical institutions in Tokyo that are treating COVID-19 patients. They are being used by doctors and nurses when they go to and from hospital.
As our third anti-COVID-19 project, the foundation has accepted requests from 128 emergency medical service hospitals in 36 prefectures across the nation, now taking care of severely ill and high-risk patients, for a total of 4.98 billion yen in grants to help them beef up facilities and equipment.
The money will be used to purchase ventilators, negative pressure clean booths, infection control clean partitions, defibrillators, PCR (polymerase chain reaction) testing equipment, antigen test devices, satellite antenna systems for disaster management, and mobile radiography equipment as well as “Doctor Cars” (a.k.a. “rapid response cars”) with a full inventory of medical equipment and supplies, including ECMO (extracorporeal membrane oxygenation).
The Nippon Foundation is now accepting donations from the public to support these initiatives to combat the unprecedented pandemic. With administrative or other indirect costs being borne by us, the entire amount of all donations received will be used to support the activities of doctors, nurses, volunteers, and others engaged in front-line activities to mitigate the spread of infection.
For details regarding donations, please refer to The Nippon Foundation’s website.
Prefabricated houses with a total of 140 20-square-meter air-conditioned private rooms built in a parking lot of the Museum of Maritime Science. Ten out of the 140 rooms will have two beds so as to accommodate members of the same family who have contracted the virus.