a tall building in a city: Temporary recovery facilities created by the Nippon Foundation are seen in Shinagawa Ward, Tokyo, in July. (Mainichi/Koichiro Tezuka)


© The Mainichi
Temporary recovery facilities created by the Nippon Foundation are seen in Shinagawa Ward, Tokyo, in July. (Mainichi/Koichiro Tezuka)

TOKYO — Newly built 140-bed recovery accommodation in the capital’s Daiba district for novel coronavirus patients with mild or no symptoms will allow them to stay with their pets, it has been learned from plans laid out by the Tokyo Metropolitan Government.

As a general rule, COVID-19 patients with mild or no symptoms are asked to stay and recover at hotels set aside for the purpose by the Tokyo metro government. But the latest move will address the fact that some people forgo recovery at hotels to care for pets at home.

The temporary recovery accommodation facility comprises private rooms across 14 prefab buildings set up by the Nippon Foundation in the parking lot of the Museum of Maritime Science in the Daiba district. Each building has 10 rooms of about 20 square meters each, all equipped with home electronics including TVs and air conditioners. Medical staff and Tokyo city government staff will be on standby at the facility, so quick action can be taken in the event a patient’s condition worsens.

In response to the lack of beds for COVID-19 patients, the Nippon Foundation has begun using the museum parking lot and the Nippon Foundation Para Arena, a neighboring gym also used as a training hub for the Tokyo Paralympics, to set up a temporary recovery facility “disaster crisis support center” that includes the prefab buildings. After the center’s completion in July, it was handed to the Tokyo Metropolitan Government.

The Tokyo government had been deliberating over how to use the facility, but after noting the existence of COVID-19 patients unable to stay in hotels because they could not find anyone to care for their pets while away, it decided to use the facility to cater to patients who wanted to spend their recovery period with their pets. The Tokyo government and the Nippon Foundation signed an agreement in September allowing pets to stay at the facility, and the government is now in its final stages of preparation for a prompt start to operations.

“We want to set up an environment where we can keep an eye on the health of COVID-19 patients who have pets,” a senior official at the Tokyo Metropolitan Government said.

(Japanese original by Koichi Uchida, City News Department)