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Japan announces basic policy to fight spread of coronavirus

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I have just returned home after being in hospital for 7 days in Kobe having a serious operation to remove my prostate because of cancer. The hospital worked on a state of high alert even though there were no people with the virus infections.

The floor I was on were private rooms with restrictions to who could visit the floor but mainly medical staff. Family visiting hours.

People with the Coronavirus need medical treatment but they need to be physically separated from other patients not just by the hours but by devoting a whole floor to those with the virus and strict precautions in place.

23 ( +26 / -3 )

NHK switched Live for this really important "announcment" of concrete measures to deal with the spread of Covid-19 in Japan.

I'll summarise what Kato said:

Wash your hands and avoid crowds.

If feel under the weather, stay home if symptoms not too severe, and take time off work. Don't go to the hospital.

Recommend companies allow workers to work from home.

The government is going to assemble " teams of experts" who will work with local municipalities to come up with concrete measures and solutions.

They plan to take an inventory of how many hospital beds are available nation wide and to gauge if Japan can cope.

They'll do all they can to halt further spread

He spoke about the above for 20-30 minutes.

In other words there is no concrete plan.

23 ( +25 / -2 )

Why isn't Dr. Iwata in the picture. Where are the experts? I only see bureaucrats.

18 ( +21 / -3 )

Too late too little as Abe takes the photo op but lines up Katsunobu Kato, the health minister to take the fall, who has already become a punching bag in the aftermath of each poor decision by the cabinet.

15 ( +19 / -4 )

Before going to a hospital, people have been advised to first contact local healthcare centers if they develop a fever of 37.5 C or higher for at least four days. The period is shortened to two days for the elderly, those with chronic diseases, and pregnant women.

It's hard to understand this while we have the data of two crucial factors about this virus.

1) Although incubation period is long; after developing the fever and the virus reaches to lungs, the patient's condition is getting worse quickly and developing the pneumonia.

How you can ask people to wait four days with fever after you made much more harder to treat.

2) How you can let potential patient to spread the sickness for four more days while the worst thing about the virus is not the mortality rate, its his spread rate.

This stance is basically driving me crazy, and I am having serious trouble to understand the logic behind it from the medical perspective. This is the practice that Iran did based on its local reports, now we are witnessing the disaster at there.

15 ( +17 / -2 )

WTH!!! Why on earth didn't the govt do THIS when Wuhan & the cruise FIRST became an ISSUE!!!

Seems J-govt didn't learn anything from SARS & likely ditto for 3\11!!!

15 ( +16 / -1 )

Zichi: Glad you’re out and hope you feel 100% again soon.

15 ( +22 / -7 )

"It is extremely important to slow down the pace of increase in the number of infected people if we are to contain an epidemic in the country," the basic policy said.

Genius. It's such a relief to know that they have been able to talk, agree on this, and put it in writing. Writers of satire couldn't come up with anything better.

13 ( +13 / -0 )

A daughter of a friend of mine went to the hospital with a fever of 38.8C, they had her leave the hospital and go to another that is designated as one to deal with the virus.

She was given a blood test and they gave her an anesthetic to her throat and took a throat swap as well, testing for the virus!

She had mild food poisoning!

12 ( +14 / -2 )

Again with the “urging”.

Barely anyone would follow.

There’s a concert going on in Tokyo Dome today. How many deaths would it take for the government to finally act???

12 ( +13 / -1 )

Best wishes for a complete and speedy recovery, Zichi!

I watched a nice little documentary series on the 1918 flu pandemic last night. Apparently, in Japan it was known as the "sumo flu" since one of the first big transmission events was a sumo basho.

It's easy to look back and see all the mistakes made during that pandemic.

It's sad to see so many of the same decisions being made (or not made) today.

12 ( +14 / -2 )

That doesn't sound good enough!

I agree.

11 ( +12 / -1 )

LDP men in suits holding more useless meetings.

Great, now we can feel safe.

As was said by comments in another article, where are the doctors? The real professionals? This is one of Japan’s biggest health crisis and this is what the people get?

11 ( +12 / -1 )

The result, no doubt, of dozens of meetings about meetings to discuss what will be discussed about the meetings to plan for the other meetings to decide where to have the drinking party to celebrate the completion of the meeting about the meeting to discuss the upcoming meeting where a bunch of people will decide on a policy based upon seniority in the room rather than expertise in the field at hand.

The Japanese government can't get out of its own way.

10 ( +12 / -2 )

But such hospitals are required to take necessary steps to prevent the spread of infections, such as setting different consultation hours for patients suspected of having the virus.

That doesn't sound good enough!

9 ( +11 / -2 )

Just "clusters" of virus areas??

As much as I know it's all over Japan already, with some exceptions.

As there are: Okinawa, Kyushu area, Honshu area, Hokkaido and so on.

So don't tell me that it's just a couple of clusters!

8 ( +10 / -2 )

The Japanese needs serious measures such as those in force in South Korea!

It won’t take much for foreign countries to refuse people coming from Japan entry.

8 ( +10 / -2 )

Hmmm, the picture makes it seem like a political decision and not a medical one. Japan has Nobel prize winning doctors. I prefer a medical expert chart the course.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

Love how they say avoid crowds while having a mass meeting with a mob of journalists in attendance. The governments demographic are the ones most at risk of death. This virus might actually be benificial. They all should wander around their electorate shacking hands and telling everyone it's all OK.

7 ( +11 / -4 )

we are over already... Japanese deemed immune... just listen to Father Abe...

7 ( +8 / -1 )

Zichi, quite right, to actually control the spread of a virus rather than manage the consequences (as we all do with flue) requires quite stringent barrier nursing and rapid tracing and isolation of secondary and tertiary contacts. Glad to hear the op is over, hope you will de back to normal soon. Well I suppose you could see your trip to hospital as a fact finding mission! :) Can you claim it against tax? Or is that only politicians!

6 ( +7 / -1 )

"We will work closely with local governments and medical institutions to have a solid system in place to provide medical care," Abe told the task force with a straight face.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Does anyone know how many tests around the country have been negative? I get the impression that doctors are refusing to test people with symptoms, for whatever reason.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

There aren’t the tests to go around, unfortunately.

Only a few hospitals in major cities have them and even then there are problems...

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Zichi

Whew man! May you have perfect health for the remainder of your days.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

But aren't all Japanese wearing masks? Doesn't that prevent virus spreading?

No?

5 ( +8 / -3 )

It was reported on News 23 tonight that Korea has carried out 43,000 PCR tests with some 980 infected cases reported. Then they compared Japan’s number of PCR tests carried out and it was only some 1, 200 tests.

It also showed Korea carrying out some 9,300 tests today (25th) and in Japan only 37 tests. I couldn’t believe my eyes, 37. This is News 23 with Ogawa Ayaka.

Think about the the population difference between the two countries. What do you think Japan’s infected number would be if 43,000 tests are carried out?

Then then one commentator said something about probably not wanting people to panic as to the reason why more tests are not being carried out.

(バッと増えてパニックみたいなのが起きるのを避けようとしているのかな)

They also commented that the thinking might be if there’s not enough beds, no sense in testing because people would rush to hospitals which are ill equipped to handle such numbers.

They reported one young women asking to be tested at a hospital She was rejected on the grounds that she is too young to be tested Then she cried pleading to be tested.

Kato is hoping this will all just be swept away by the wind.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

I'll summarise what Kato said:

Wash your hands and avoid crowds. 

If feel under the weather, stay home if symptoms not too severe, and take time off work. Don't go to the hospital.

Recommend companies allow workers to work from home. 

The government is going to assemble " teams of experts" who will work with local municipalities to come up with concrete measures and solutions.

“Assemble teams of experts” means we don’t have any answers yet. Meanwhile remember to wash your hands.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

"We are aware of the risks of them getting infected when they take off a mask or gloves, so we will have thorough measures to prevent infections under these circumstances," 

Translation: We don't know what we are doing but we are putting on a good face while we are doing it, whatever it is.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

zichi... I wish you well. take care.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Zichi: All the best for your recovery!

4 ( +4 / -0 )

The Japanese government on Tuesday announced a basic policy 

Guys a plan is a written document-not an announcement. According to the WHO, there is already a plan from 2009. It just needs updating. Yes, where is Dr. Iwata in the picture.

https://extranet.who.int/sph/influenza-plan

3 ( +5 / -2 )

With outliers becoming symptomatic some 27 days after infection, it will take a couple of months of no new infections to know it has stopped.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Basic policy from basic people, WHERE ARE THE EXPERTS?

3 ( +4 / -1 )

How you can ask people to wait four days with fever after you made much more harder to treat.

You can't. Basically you have your own resources to go on. You can seek help if you have fever after 2 days if you are "elderly," pregnant or your immune system is compromised by a pre-existing condition.

So lie. If you are 50+ you can call yourself elderly. If you are female and 20-45 you can say you think you are pregnant. Most especially if you have any difficulty breathing.

However, in most cases you are probably better off to ride it out at home since most cases recover. It's important to self-monitor without panic. A panic attack + a flu can present like a worst case scenario. Keep a strong mind and use all the best prevention strategies you know.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

A daughter of a friend of mine went to the hospital with a fever of 38.8C, they had her leave the hospital and go to another that is designated as one to deal with the virus.

She was given a blood test and they gave her an anesthetic to her throat and took a throat swap as well, testing for the virus! 

She had mild food poisoning!

WOW, That's some crazy story right here....

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Are they going to release the data of people who were cured after the treatment?

2 ( +2 / -0 )

An interesting point to note; I have a friend who is in Changzhou (155 km from Shanghai) and he would like to return to Dallas where he has family. He has told me the U.S. would allow him in but the problem is he says he cannot get to Shanghai.

He is about 600km from Wuhan. He is a pretty reliable person and if this is the case it means there are pretty severe travel restrictions far from the epicenter. The information flow which was coming out of China seems to have been squelched.

Many major factories in China are going to be closed until March 20 (they should have opened a while ago). What China is doing (I think the right thing by the way) is really going to be a big hurt to their economy. They would not do this if they believe this to be a flu or cold.

I think Japan's policy needs to include a basic policy and then procedures to take if escalation occurs.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

"It is extremely important to slow down the pace of increase in the number of infected people if we are to contain an epidemic in the country," the basic policy said.

thank God the J Govt has basic policy now I can sleep peacefully.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Just paying lip service to a huge issue. Too little too late. The Japanese government is way behind other countries in this.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

@ theFu But aren't all Japanese wearing masks? Doesn't that prevent virus spreading? No?

Answers: Japanese politicians are wearing masks, and they cover their eyes completely. Cofefe-19 is not spreading, and is only in isolated instances. This will not change unless it gets to Nagatacho or Kasumigaseki. Otherwise, it is something to make policy pronouncements about. Until then, we can just wash our hands of the whole thing.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

As much as I know it's all over Japan already, with some exceptions.

Tokyo has a lot, but outside Tokyo, 15 prefectures out of 47 with 1-3 cases each. So yes, ‘clusters’ so far.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

@calling for a more efficient use of hospitals to better treat infected people with serious symptoms.

That is a defeat of a person's life that should not risk a patients life until something develops into something serious which may be fatal at that point. In a majority of the cases where the serious symptoms peaked before being treated most have died. That is way too much risk considering we only have 1 life. What a ridiculous plan. Bet when these decision makers get this infection they will be the first ones in line or calling their doctors on speed dial to see them immediately and not wait for serious symptoms. Typical of politicians today, take care of themselves let the people well good luck.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

theFu: Masks are an illusion. Wash your hands and do not touch public surfaces. Zichi-san, glad to hear you are back. Recover completely, please, as we need your voice here.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

Dr. Iwata posted in his twitter on Feb. 25 that the proper measures for COVID had been taken mostly except the cruise ship.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Zichi; all the best towards a quick recovery!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Whew, that’s a relief! For a moment there I thought the government was just a bunch of dolts with no clue as to what to do.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Companies have been urged to

Does the Japanese government do anything but urge? Roll out an edict driving companies to do this until this Issue is solved.

Save the urging to urge people to wash their hands correctly.

0 ( +7 / -7 )

oh, u had stomach flu last week end. With a fever of 39°. Didn't go to hospital.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

From the Atlantic magazine ... https://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2020/02/covid-vaccine/607000/

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Island of misfits bureaucrats

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Japan has weeks, not month, the US has imposed a travel ban on Korea

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Where is the statement saying: We urge all citizens to wash their hands frequently, practice keeping hands away from ones face, stay away from infected people, use alcohol sanitizer when unable to wash hands, sanitize surfaces with diluted chlorine bleach, and wear a stay home if you are sick. Please do your part to keep the COVID-19 virus from spreading in Japan.

The government needs to help educate the public what to do to make this effective.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

The Japanese efforts during this crisis had been slow to respond, and relied too much on the data released by the bought & paid-for WHO, thus greatly hindering the quarantine process. This coronavirus had cracked the invincibility of the once impregnable Japanese health system, but also demonstrated the awful corruption that plagued the WHO.

This photo reminds me of a scene in Shin Godzilla, where a meeting was organized to counter Godzilla, then another meeting was organized about the previous meeting, followed by yet another meeting about the prior meeting, and followed by still another meeting about the prior meeting's prior meeting, all the while Godzilla matured from infancy to adulthood.

Hopefully a concentrated effort on effectively dealing with this crisis would be produced soon, because the longer this takes... well...

0 ( +1 / -1 )

You want serious measures? Learn from Taiwan.

Better yet Singapore! If you have tested positive for the virus there, the authorities will go through CCD cameras throughout the city and check who you were in contact with, and with facial recognition software they have been able to track these people down and advise them of the risk, and keep an eye on them if they develop any symptoms, testing if necessary as well!

Schools have instituted curfews and any students staying on campus in dorms, they have their temps checked every night!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

"If you have tested positive for the virus there, the authorities will go through CCD cameras throughout the city and check who you were in contact with, and with facial recognition software they have been able to track these people down and advise them of the risk, and keep an eye on them if they develop any symptoms, testing if necessary as well!"

You do understand that Singapore has a reported total that is close to a hundred, right?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Jeevanath Velu

Are they going to release the data of people who were cured after the treatment?

You can find "outcomes" (death or recovery) data here, broken down by country.

https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/

It has said on the page *"Coming soon: Country-specific pages (with live statistics and graphs for each country and region). Follow us on twitter to receive a notification as soon as they are published,*" since at least Monday, but I haven't seen anything yet.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I’ve been running a fever for the past five days or so with the necessary symptoms. I got sick from a Chinese tourist. Called the health line and they said I should go to the doctor and get some medicine. I have sinusitis but hey didn’t test me for the virus.

There are no masks available to buy here and I can’t afford to take more than a day off work because I’m a contractor with no sick leave.

Good times.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The photo above is the pictorial definition of inept.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

"after that China has decisively won the control of the virus."

Yes, because it is so praiseworthy for somebody who made this mess to begin with finally took the responsibilities of cleaning after their own crap. clap clap clap Good for you China, good for you.

On the other hand, what 'decisive' victories are we looking at today? You mean the new four hundred or so cases that has just been reported? What great victory! At least it's 5 less new cases than yesterday!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I've been reading so much conflicting information. Does anyone know how we'll know when we are over the worst of this virus?

For example, if a week passes and no new infections are reported, will that mean the danger is past? Or will a mass vaccination be necessary?

Does anybody remember how SARS finally came to an end?

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Japan is battling to contain the disease called COVID-19, asking its citizens to stay indoors and refrain from going to school or work if they have cold-like symptoms.

So in other words, they are telling Japan to stop doing what is ingrained into society by default or else one would be looked down upon socially. Yeah, that's going to work well, as well as the Diamond Princess quarantine did.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

I’d have been impressed with a plan to build three or four 1,000 bed hospitals and add another 10,000 pcr test capacity.... all within a month.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

I've never seen so much panic. It's absolutely legendary.

You people need to get outside and get away from your keyboards and phones.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

This situation is Intergalatic I don't know which way to move. I suppose we need to listen to what our government says and act.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

"The Japanese needs serious measures such as those in force in South Korea!"

This is just hilarious. So what, Japan could have nearly 1,000 coronavirus cases just like South Korea? A country having trouble to regulate mask provisions and keeping its foreign exchange students in dorms? Never mind President Moon just donated 2 million masks to China. No thank you.

You want serious measures? Learn from Taiwan.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

The out of the “as usual “ seems to unsettle the established mechanisms.

And this is only a single of even other dimensional changes coming up soon.

Sounds like doomsday? Well look at our teenagers.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

As there are: Okinawa, Kyushu area, Honshu area, Hokkaido and so on.

Give us a break! Okinawa is not a "cluster". 3 people, out of a population of over 1.4 MILLION people, might make it a .

(Do you see the tiny mark there?)

-5 ( +2 / -7 )

Wrong, again. Instead of announcing comprehensive policies, Abe govt only announced basic policies, after so many days, and after that China has decisively won the control of the virus.

-6 ( +1 / -7 )

Why isn't Dr. Iwata in the picture. Where are the experts? I only see bureaucrats.

Because Abe Shinzo is the elected leader of Japan and is head of the government. Hence the tile Prime Minster.

-7 ( +2 / -9 )

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