"The World and Japan" Database (Project Leader: TANAKA Akihiko)
Database of Japanese Politics and International Relations
National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies (GRIPS); Institute for Advanced Studies on Asia (IASA), The University of Tokyo

[Title] Press Conference by the Prime Minister on the Handling of the Priority Measures to Prevent the Spread of Disease

[Date] August 4, 2021
[Source] Prime Minister of Japan and His Cabinet
[Notes] Provisional Translation
[Full text]

(On the handling of the priority measures to prevent the spread of disease)

We have just held a meeting of five ministers to discuss countermeasures against the rapid spread of the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) throughout Japan. We discussed the priority measures to prevent the spread of the disease and decided to submit the matter to the subcommittee tomorrow.

(On the record number of infected cases confirmed in Tokyo)

With a record number of cases confirmed in Tokyo, we have been responding with a sense of vigilance for the past several days.

In any case, we must take all possible measures to prioritize the protection of the lives and health of the people. That is what I am trying to do.

(On the criteria for hospitalization of patients infected with COVID-19)

In the face of the current rapid spread of the Delta strain, we have decided on a policy to protect the lives and health of the people by taking measures to ensure that they have access to necessary medical services.

Those measures will not be taken as a nation-wide approach, but will be applied to areas such as Tokyo and the metropolitan area where there has been an explosive spread of the infection.

Yesterday I explained to the president of the medical association and those who are engaged in the medical service, that those who are moderately ill but require oxygen administration, and those who are at the risk of developing severe symptoms even if they do not require oxygen administration will of course be hospitalized.

In any case, doctors will decide whether a patient should be hospitalized or not.

For patients who are recuperating at home, it is important to have a system that allows them to communicate with their doctors frequently through the use of a pulse oximeter or telephone, depending on their condition, while making sure they are hospitalized immediately if their condition worsens. That is what the measures are meant to achieve.

We will try to carefully explain those points in detail to gain understanding of the people.