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EDITORIAL: Clinics can help fight COVID-19 clusters in nursing homes

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Deadly new coronavirus clusters that recently killed nearly 40 residents at two senior homes in the western Kansai region have underscored afresh the acute shortages of hospital beds for COVID-19 patients.

These shortages are forcing hospitals to restrict whom they admit and leading more Japanese to die needlessly.

Tackling this dire situation effectively requires closely coordinated efforts by medical institutions, including local clinics, and local and central governments. They must work together to enhance the nation’s capabilities of testing people for the virus and increasing the number of beds for caring for COVID-19 patients.

COVID-19 clusters found at nursing homes in Kobe, Hyogo Prefecture, and Kadoma, Osaka Prefecture, in April killed a total of 38 residents.

At a geriatric health service facility in Kobe, 25, or nearly 20 percent of its residents at the time, died, 23 of whom were trying to recover at the facility.

Most of them were not admitted to hospitals despite their serious conditions, according to a senior municipal government official. At a........

© The Asahi Shimbun

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