The Japanese city of Osaka has requested the general public to donate their unused plastic raincoats to hospitals that suffer shortage of protective gear as the country’s fight against the novel coronavirus is ongoing.
Osaka Mayor Ichiro Matsui issued an urgent plea asking for raincoat donations, after reports about some doctors and other medical staff in the city having started wearing trash bags when treating COVID-19 patients due to lack of protective equipment.
Matsui explained in a public speech on Tuesday, April 14 that the use of trash bags by medical professionals was dangerous, because a trash bag can touch the wearer’s face by accident while they take it off as the virus is known for infecting people through the nose and mouth.
“If doctors get infected, we can never beat coronavirus,” Matsui said, asking residents for as many raincoats as they can give out.
It was noted by the municipality that any color and style of raincoat was acceptable, including ponchos. Osaka Governor Hirofumi Yoshimura recently made a similar call.
On April 8, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe declared a state of emergency in Tokyo and six other areas, including Osaka, as part of the government’s response to the growing number of cases.
The state of emergency was planned to include Kyoto, Aichi and Hokkaido later on. However, the country is likely to see it to be extended nationwide soon.
Japan had a total confirmed cases of over 8,000 and 178 deaths at the time of our reporting.