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Hokkaido Based Hearing Impaired Group Highlights Inadequacies In Coronavirus Response

March 3, 2020

The Association for Hearing Loss in Hokkaido, whose headquarters are in Obihiro City, has requested that fax number be added to contact information for people looking guidance about the coronavirus . “The deaf cannot contact without a fax number,” said Akiko Sasaki.

On February 17, the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare requested prefectures and core cities to display fax numbers and e-mail addresses of consultation desks in consideration of the hearing impaired. By the end of February, fax numbers were added to the homepage (HP) that aggregates information related to road infectious diseases, but various announcements, such as municipal publicity magazines, often show only telephone numbers.

The website of Obihiro Health Center was also used as a consultation desk with only the telephone numbers of the health center, the Ministry of Health and Welfare, and the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare.

The association has about 50 members. Faxing is the “lifeline” in an emergency. Sasaki said, “I want to be a society where fax numbers are always posted where phone numbers are posted.”

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