Japanese care home reports eight children with coronavirus
TOKYO: A Japanese care home for infants said yesterday it has found eight cases of coronavirus infection among its children.
One staff member tested positive for the virus on April 16, and tests were conducted on its 29 children, a spokesman for Saiseikai Central Hospital, which runs the institution, said.
None of the eight children showed major symptoms such as fever, but they had been hospitalised, she said.
Children who cannot live at home for reasons such as abuse, neglect or their parents' divorce are usually cared for at residential care facilities in Japan.
The institution said seven of its 47 employees, including the person who already tested positive, had been asked to stay at home because of fever or respiratory troubles.
Japan has had more than 11,500 infections and nearly 300 deaths.
In a separate development, Japan's effort to distribute protective cloth masks in its coronavirus battle has been marred by complaints about mould, insects and stains, fuelling further concern that the government has botched its handling of the pandemic.
Just weeks after it began supplying every household with two washable, reusable masks at a cost of US$430 million (S$613 million) in the strategy to contain the virus, the government has been forced to replace some masks following reports of defects from recipients.
"I'm thankful to receive these masks, but is this a bug? Debris? Dirt?" asked Twitter user Aiai, posting a photo of two white masks in their packaging, with what appeared to be a small insect trapped near the side seam of one. In a manga sketch posted by another user, two soiled masks crash through a window to wake a man.
The Health Ministry confirmed that by Friday, it had shipped nearly 30 million masks to pregnant women, medical and nursing facilities and schools. These drew about 1,900 complaints of soiled or defective products, the vast majority from pregnant women.
"We are asking manufacturers to confirm how these defects occurred, and asking for their cooperation in replacing the defective products," a ministry spokesman said. - REUTERS