New wave of infections threatens to collapse Japan hospitals

Posted at 1:06 AM, Apr 18, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-18 01:06:35-04

BY MARI YAMAGUCHI AND YURI KAGEYAMA, TOKYO — Hospitals in Japan are increasingly turning away sick people in ambulances as the country braces for a surge in coronavirus infections.

The Japanese Association for Acute Medicine and the Japanese Society for Emergency Medicine say emergency medicine has already collapsed with many hospitals refusing to treat people including those suffering strokes, heart attacks and external injuries.

Japan initially seemed to have successfully controlled the outbreak by going after clusters of infections in specific places, usually enclosed spaces such as clubs, gyms and meeting venues.

But the spread of infections outpaced this approach and most new cases are untraceable.