Tokyo (Reuters) – Suicide rates in Japan have jumped into the second wave of the COVID-19 epidemic, especially among women and children, even though they fell in the first wave, when the government offered people generous handouts, a poll found.
According to studies by researchers from Hong Kong University and Tokyo Metropolitan Institute of Gerontology, suicide rates in July – October increased by 16% from the same period a year earlier, dropping by 14% in February – June.
“In contrast to normal economic conditions, this epidemic adversely affects the psychological health of children, adolescents and women (especially housewives),” the author wrote in a study published Friday in the journal Nature Human Behavior.
The study found that the initial drop in suicides was influenced by factors such as government subsidies, working hours and school closures.
The report said the suicide rate for women has increased by 37%, while the number of men has increased five-fold, as the long-standing epidemic affects industries where women are the victims. , Burden increases on working mothers, while domestic violence increases.
The study, based on data from the Ministry of Health from November 2016 to October 2020, found that child suicide rates rose 49% in the second wave in the period following nationwide school closures.
This month Prime Minister Yoshihida Suga issued a COVID-19 emergency for three more adjoining provinces in Tokyo to achieve the resurgence. He expanded it this week to seven more provinces, including Osaka and Kyoto.
Administrative and Regulatory Reform Minister Taro Kono told Reuters on Thursday that the government would consider a state of emergency, but it “cannot kill the economy.”
“People worry about COVID-19. But many people have also committed suicide because they have lost their jobs, lost their income and cannot see hope,” he said. “We need to strike a balance between managing COVID-19 and managing the economy.”
(Reporting by Amy Yamamitsu; Editing by William Mallard)
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