The bereaved family of a Japanese man in his 80s who died from the new coronavirus has agreed to share data about his infection with medical experts in the hopes of establishing treatments.
“We don’t want his death to be in vain,” the family said in a recent interview with Jiji Press.
The man developed a fever in early February, according to the family, and he later tested negative for influenza. Although he took antipyretics, his fever did not go down and he was admitted to a hospital.
He was tested for the new coronavirus only after a relative’s request. The confirmation of his infection came about a week after he developed the fever.
“We wish we had received the test result much earlier,” the family said.
As the man had an underlying disease, his condition deteriorated due to severe pneumonia caused by the virus. He was later treated with an anti-AIDS drug, believed to be effective in the treatment of the coronavirus.
With the man’s condition going up and down, the family asked the hospital in late February to allow members to meet with him.
The family was allowed to see him only through a window from a room next to the ICU. They were asked to wear protective suits, face masks, goggles, gloves and shoe covers.
The man was lying down and hooked up to an artificial ventilator. “Hang in there, grandpa,” they said in encouragement through the window. He died the following day.
A cremation company hesitated over whether to cremate him after being told that the man had the coronavirus.
His body was wrapped in a special bag designed to control infectious diseases, so the family wasn’t able to see his face before cremation.
So far, 12 people have died in Japan due to the virus.
In a time of both misinformation and too much information, quality journalism is more crucial than ever.
By subscribing, you can help us get the story right.
Your news needs your support
Since the early stages of the COVID-19 crisis, The Japan Times has been providing free access to crucial news on the impact of the novel coronavirus as well as practical information about how to cope with the pandemic. Please consider subscribing today so we can continue offering you up-to-date, in-depth news about Japan.