Delphi on Zoom
Speaker: Gustav Strandall
Cost: 5,000 (non-members) 2,000 (members)
When: 3pm Friday June 5
Dear Members and Advisers,
We often have analysts and theoreticians as our speakers, so I am pleased to announce our next Zoom with the CEO of a chain of Japanese care homes with hands-on, front-line experience of the crisis.
As many of you know, in Sweden, America and the UK, care homes for the elderly have fared poorly. In the UK, for example, half of total Covid-19 deaths, over 15,000, have been residents.
Why is this? Surely the old and weak should have benefited from the greatest possible care. In fact, as policy makers panicked about the National Health Service being overwhelmed, elderly patients were being discharged into care homes without being tested if they had properly recovered. Nor did government health guidelines reflect how quickly and efficiently the disease spread. Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) was also lacking.
In Japan, care homes have also become clusters, but without the sinister death rates. Much of the relatively small volume of testing has focussed on not releasing the sick back into the community. Four tests are the minimum and many patients get 20 or 30, depending on how long it takes for them to recover. And unlike in the UK, where the test kits were often faulty, Japan’s test kits actually worked.
Gustav also believes that the Japanese government responded more swiftly and effectively than his home country Sweden. Indeed, it was on January 29 that the Ministry of Health, Welfare and Labor sent out an alert. In particular, they warned against permitting outside visitors into care homes. They also warned about immediately excluding sick staff. In contrast, Gustav points out that Sweden did not permit visitor restrictions until April 1.
Care homes were on the front line of the crisis. Come and hear from a rare example of a Westerner fighting on the front line in Japan and make up your own mind about whether Japan was simply lucky – or whether the country did something right.