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Planning needed for a disaster occurring during virus outbreak

17 5 2

The new coronavirus pandemic that is ravaging Japan and the rest of the world is a fresh, painfully graphic reminder of the need to recognize the horrible damage an infectious disease can inflict on society.

It also highlights the need to prepare in advance to ensure effective responses to dire situations that could be created by an infectious virus outbreak.

What if a major flood or a powerful earthquake strikes Japan before the outbreak can be contained?

It is horrifying to imagine the devastation, but this possibility demands serious proactive efforts to consider and prepare for tough challenges that would be posed by such disasters.

Particularly worrisome is what could happen at evacuation centers.

Experts say that the transmission of a virus is most likely to occur in a badly ventilated place crowded with people where conversations take place at close distances. Disaster evacuation centers, which are usually facilities such as gyms where many people live closely together, perfectly fit this profile.

Guidelines for operating evacuation centers created by the Cabinet Office cite key........

© The Asahi Shimbun