From Jiji Press
March 5th 2020
TOKYO – Japanese assistance groups are calling for attention to the impact of the novel coronavirus spread on the lives of people with intractable diseases and visual and other disabilities.
Shortages of face masks and disinfectants at retailers nationwide have hit these people particularly hard. Patients on immunosuppressive drugs are in serious need of face masks, while blind people are highly likely to miss opportunities to buy such products.
In late February, the Japan Patients Association submitted to the health minister a request that the government take steps to prevent the number of COVID-19 cases from rising further.
In the request, the Tokyo-based association said many patients use immunosuppressive drugs on a daily basis and that they are much more prone to infections.
The number of intractable disease patients using steroids and other immunosuppressive agents is estimated at over 300,000 in the country, according to the association.