The Aichi Prefectural Government said Wednesday that it will provide financial support to medical institutions in the prefecture that treat patients with COVID-19 disease.

It will pay ¥1 million per patient with mild to moderate symptoms. An extra ¥1 million will be paid if the patient is severely sick and is treated with a ventilator or in an intensive care unit.

The aid amount will be ¥4 million if a critically ill patient uses an extracorporeal membrane oxygenation, or ECMO, machine.

The support will be applied for all coronavirus cases in the prefecture, including its first infection case.

The Aichi government expects recipient medical institutions to use the money to pay for staffing needs and expenses, such as covering accommodation charges and for the salaries of additional workers hired to help treat patients.

The cost of the program will total ¥3.2 billion. The cities of Nagoya, Okazaki, Toyohashi and Toyota will shoulder one-third of the expense, while the prefectural government will cover two-thirds. The prefecture will foot all costs for other municipalities.

The prefecture also plans to utilize donations made through the country's furusato nozei system for supporting medical institutions accepting coronavirus patients. The aid amount will be ¥100,000 per patient.

The Aichi government will start seeking donations in late May for the initiative. The prefecture does not plan on giving donors anything in return.

Under the furusato nozei system, people can make donations to local governments of their choice, which do not necessarily need to be their hometowns, in exchange for tax cuts. Many local governments offer return gifts to donors.

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