Emperor, Empress talk to hospital frontline staff

NHK -- Nov 20
Emperor Naruhito and Empress Masako have made online inspections of Japanese Red Cross Society hospitals dealing with coronavirus patients.

At the Akasaka Palace on Wednesday, they listened to an explanation by the president of the Red Cross Society and others.

They then made online inspections of the COVID-19 headquarters and ward of the Japanese Red Cross Society Medical Center and also talked with medical professionals of Red Cross hospitals in some parts of Japan.

Officials said the Emperor and Empress have been worried about situations in hospitals amid the outbreak and wanted to give words of appreciation and encouragement to medical professionals..

The Emperor asked what was the toughest part of their work or how many personnel were handling coronavirus patients. He also expressed sympathy, saying they must have endured a hard time during the prolonged pandemic.

Along with the Emperor, the Empress repeated questions about handling of critically ill patients and also asked what kind of worries medical workers had and availability of medical equipment and masks.

The outbreak has limited opportunities for the Emperor and Empress to communicate with members of the public in person. But they are likely to see more opportunities than before by using online platforms.

Honma Yukio, the head of the Japanese Red Cross Medical Center, noted that infections have risen sharply. He said he renews his resolve to fight the outbreak, after receiving warm words from the Emperor and Empress.