In the press review of Friday, April 9, we will discuss: the discharge of the waters of Fukushima in the Pacific Ocean, a first lung transplant on a coronavirus patient, then the denial of granting the vaccine to athletes of the Olympic Games in priority.

Fukushima water drainage

The Japanese government is considering releasing the water accumulated on the site of the Fukushima power plant in the ocean, despite opposition from fishermen. A meeting will be held on Tuesday April 13 to formalize this plan. The Prime Minister, Yoshihide Suga, announced that the government would decide ” in a few days “ how to free the water, after meeting Hiroshi Kishi, head of the National Federation of Fisheries Cooperatives, who expressed his steadfast opposition to the idea. Last March, Tokyo Electric Power Company, the operator of the Fukushima nuclear power plant, drew up a plan to dilute the water, so that the concentration of radioactive materials either below the legal limit, before the throw back into the sea. The International Atomic Energy Agency has backed the Japanese government’s plan, saying its discharge into the sea meets global nuclear industry standards.

A lung operation in the face of the coronavirus

Kyoto University Hospital said on Thursday it had performed the world’s first living donor lung transplant on a patient who had lost functionality in both lungs due to the COVID-19. The woman, who lives in western Japan, had no medical history, but her respiratory function quickly deteriorated after being infected with the coronavirus at the end of last year. She developed pneumonia which caused both of her lungs to harden and narrow, depriving them of most of their functionality. Two days after her pneumonia, she underwent transplants of part of her husband’s left lung and part of her son’s right lung, who volunteered. The surgeon who was responsible for this operation, which lasted 11 hours, Hiroshi Date, said : “I think there is a lot of hope for this treatment in the sense that it creates a new option. “ The hospital said both donors are in stable condition, and the patient, who is currently in intensive care, is expected to be released in two months if all goes well.

No priority for vaccination

For a few days, rumors saying that Japanese athletes participating in the Olympics would be given priority to be vaccinated. Tamayo Marukawa, Minister of the Olympics in Japan, has refused to prioritize the coronavirus vaccine for athletes. Although the International Olympic Committee (IOC) recommended that athletes participating in the games be vaccinated, it does not require them to do so. Marukawa said: “Although this may change depending on the circumstances and the discussions between the IOC and the Organizing Committee, we are preparing for games that will not require vaccination. And the minister added at a press conference: “Right now, we don’t plan to prioritize vaccines at all.” The Prime Minister, Yoshihide Suga, pledged to organize the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games “Safe”, promising to implement tough measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19.


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