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Koike urges Tokyo residents to stay at home at weekend

166 Comments
By Naomi Tajitsu

Warning of the risk of an explosive rise in coronavirus infections in Japan's capital, Tokyo Gov Yuriko Koike on Wednesday asked residents to avoid non-essential outings through until April 12.

Koike told a news conference that the situation was"severe" after 41 new cases were reported in Tokyo on Wednesday alone. Ten of the cases were connected with a hospital in Taito Ward where a nurse and a patient were confirmed infected on Tuesday, NHK reported.

Koike asked residents to cooperate to stem the spread by avoiding unnecessary outings, working at home as much as possible and staying away from restaurants and gatherings.

"To avoid an overshoot in infections, the cooperation of Tokyo residents is critical. I ask you to act with a sense of crisis," Koike said.

The city has become the center of Japan's coronavirus epidemic, with 212 cases, more than any other region after increases this week.

It overtook the hard-hit northern island of Hokkaido island on Tuesday as the prefecture with the most infections, public broadcaster NHK reported.

The outbreak has infected 1,271 people in Japan as of Wednesday evening, with 44 deaths linked to the virus, NHK said. That excludes 712 cases and 10 deaths from a cruise ship moored near Tokyo last month.

Tokyo's new infections came after Koike warned that a lockdown of the capital was possible if it saw an explosive rise in cases.

Koike on Monday had called on residents to exercise restraint to avoid a lockdown. She said the next three weeks were critical for whether Tokyo would see an "overshoot" - an explosive rise - in virus cases.

Hokkaido, which has seen 167 cases, last week ended a state of emergency over its outbreak of the coronavirus.

The outbreak has now infected more than 420,000 across 196 countries, according to a Reuters tally, with almost 19,000 deaths linked to the virus.

© Thomson Reuters 2020.

©2020 GPlusMedia Inc.

166 Comments
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Right after everyone went out to hanami? Gasp, I never would've guessed.

55 ( +67 / -12 )

They must finally be starting to test people. About time.

37 ( +46 / -9 )

People are not thinking seriously about this virus. Lots are outside as normal. 6500 at that K-1 event at Saitama Super Arena and all those people out for Hanami!! The flowers will come back next year people!!! They are also taking masks for granted. The mask help, but ARE NOT %100 EFFECTIVE.

28 ( +34 / -6 )

Hope somehow the numbers don't take off but...……..

Just want to get this SOB over so the world can start getting back to normal again

The world needs to be better prepared for the next as this is going to KEEP happening over time, mother nature & mankind's modes of travel will ensure repeats of this kind of thing

23 ( +27 / -4 )

GW,

Great post.

1 ( +8 / -7 )

Japan's current testing capacity is 7,500/ day, a figure that is expected to rise to 8,000 by the end of the month. The average number of tests administered daily during March is under 1,900. Starting to see the effects of complacency on the part of many here.

23 ( +28 / -5 )

Now the Olympics have been postponed Japan can actually release the real numbers of infections and deaths no need to hide anything anymore....More testing facilities are needed plenty of people here think its all coming from people returning overseas suppose everyone forgot about that cruise ship.....

37 ( +49 / -12 )

Everyday on Instagram I see these large get togethers acting as if Japan has already defeated the covid-19 virus. Sad.

28 ( +31 / -3 )

So predictable. For weeks we are told there is no problem. One day before Olympics officially postponed we are told a lockdown may become necessary in the future. The day of the postponement, we are told people have become complacent and need to be more careful. The day following the postponement the numbers suddenly start to rise. AND on TV tonight they are using the emergency alert system to tell people in Tokyo to stay home this weekend and not travel overseas.

41 ( +46 / -5 )

In Japan, we must stop the tests that are causing the infections. That is what a commentator just said on TV. He said infected people going to get tested infects more people.

Read between the lines: some think the infected should just quietly suffer at home to prevent it a spike in the graph. Take one for the team sort of speak.

Why not fight and tackle the virus straight on?

24 ( +31 / -7 )

I am afraid that this is the tip of an iceberg for Japan, its just about to kick off, its had a few weeks to incubate with us the hosts unknowingly passing it around, and they have passed it on to, now its starting to develop and show its head, just be ready,

22 ( +28 / -6 )

Oh, now there’s no Olympics WHAT a surprise! Not.

23 ( +28 / -5 )

Still confused on the Japan strategy, but this is Japan, its supposed to be confusing

28 ( +32 / -4 )

I repeat, @carpslidy; "grossly over exaggerated" (in reference to a previous article)

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

Weekend locked down. But Monday go to work as normal

26 ( +31 / -5 )

The lockdown is coming...

14 ( +18 / -4 )

And, how many of those cases do you think are related to those thousands of idiots who spent the weekend in parks looking at cherry blossoms?

19 ( +21 / -2 )

testing and social distancing should have been the norm here weeks ago.

Expect a rapid rise in numbers now that protecting the Olympics are not a factor

20 ( +22 / -2 )

I asked a Japanese about the hanami and they said daijobu....you cant catch the corona outside

30 ( +31 / -1 )

@since 1971

I repeat, @carpslidy; "grossly over exaggerated" (in reference to a previous article)

Thank you for the regular call outs.

Wash your hands, stay home if sick and it will pass.

The fatality rate has not jumped, hospitals still fine, so I haven't changed my mind.

-16 ( +5 / -21 )

Seeing that Japan is a pretty low-touch culture and that public hygiene and general health is extremely good, I do not expect very high numbers of deaths here. What I want to know is, if I ever see toilet paper on the shelves here. This is ony aspect I don´t understand. It is not like this is a diarrhea pandemic now, or is it?

-11 ( +6 / -17 )

Things could get interesting if it gets into ryojin homes and prisons here

9 ( +10 / -1 )

It's probably not because of hanami because it's known that the virus may not cause symptoms for at least two weeks (I think read 30 days even in some cases)...

which is even worse, because all those people getting tested now have been out infecting people.

We'll see the results of hanami in two weeks

12 ( +15 / -3 )

@carpslidy, perhaps we have a misunderstanding. Though fatalities are a terrible thing, I’m worried about my company going bankrupt. All my family and friends losing their jobs, their homes, etc. I have yet to SEE Abe’s plan to offer assistance to help businesses big and small from closures. People are already hoarding all the food in stores. My wife went to pick up some daily foods and she said many selves were already empty.

i am confident many around me will survive medically as we are taking all the necessary precautions. But my bank account will only last so long. My wife and I are private business owners we run by ourselves, no staff (luckily). We have two companies. Mine is still hanging in their but as hers business is based on people traveling, she has already lose 95% of her work. As for me, I’m hoping my plan B works.

13 ( +15 / -2 )

Just wondering is this the right time now to panic and go to the store to buy a box of masks?

-7 ( +3 / -10 )

Apologies for the typos in my last post.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Stop domestic flights. NOW.

11 ( +12 / -1 )

This is because the Japanese government has been LYING to us about the true counts. It was always much higher but the Jgov was under pressure to keep it hidden because of the Olympics!

23 ( +28 / -5 )

Koike was just live on TV live at 8pm to give emergency address to say exactly what NHK announced she'd say during the 7pm evening news:

"I request Tokyo people refrain from going out this weekend unless necessary" 

A request, eh. Looking forward to going go a live house and K-1 match this weekend.

Recently, I feel like Alice, in Wonderland.

10 ( +13 / -3 )

@Towingtheline

The lockdown is coming...

You can but wish upon a star.

-4 ( +3 / -7 )

q) And, how many of those cases do you think are related to those thousands of idiots who spent the weekend in parks looking at cherry blossoms?

a) None, since NHK is reporting most came from hospital and returnee from Overseers

By the way, How are things down under mate? Here is an interesting story from Aus:

Coronavirus: How did Australia's Ruby Princess cruise debacle happen?

Almost 2,700 passengers - some coughing and spluttering - were allowed to leave the ship at Sydney Harbour, catching trains, buses and even overseas flights to get home.

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-australia-51999845

Idiots indeed.

-10 ( +8 / -18 )

@since1981

Yes, we have had a misunderstanding

I am in the same boat, I own a small business and am suffering a lot like you.

I am very afraid of the economic consequences of this virus, a lot less on the health risks.

I truely believe by taking precautions there is no need to close the economy down.

Thus to those demanding we lockdown I say they are grossly over exaggerating the risks, while willfully ignoring the serious effect this is having right now on our financial stability.

-1 ( +11 / -12 )

@Disillusioned

And, how many of those cases do you think are related to those thousands of idiots who spent the weekend in parks looking at cherry blossoms?

Zero, mate. We'll know about those in about 2 weeks, and only if they are tested. There is a lag. But don't bet on them being tested.

Instead be very concerned about 11 positives today who are associated with a hosptial in central Tokyo. I really hope they haven't infected the entire hosptial. That is exactly what happened in Italy.......

14 ( +14 / -0 )

Oh look! A wave...

Olympics postponed, now we can get to the truth. Koike announcing 'soft' lock down of Tokyo tonight.

The Government has a LOT to answer for.

18 ( +21 / -3 )

Seeing that Japan is a pretty low-touch culture and that public hygiene and general health is extremely good, I do not expect very high numbers of deaths here. 

You said this about infection rates and now just swapped out infraction dates for deaths. Smooth.

16 ( +18 / -2 )

This is because the Japanese government has been LYING to us about the true counts. It was always much higher but the Jgov was under pressure to keep it hidden because of the Olympics!

Yeah right and the US Army brought Covid19 to Wuhan.

-13 ( +10 / -23 )

I think Mr Abe was only waiting for Olympics and as it’s postponed he must take some hard decisions towards Coronavirus...as it’s spreading quite rapidly here in Japan.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

and Europeans, Australians , and Canadians are going to banned from entering Japan.

hmmm, mixed thoughts on that. I dont think foreigners will be in the mood to come here anytime soon, and I dont want to suggest that the blame the gaijin hysteria will start. Hard to say, as the numbers are confusing. Growing like mad in NYC, but Germany its low. I dont know whats going on in Japan. No testing? Cover ups? Culture? Or is something on the horizon. Dont know.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

@Miki

Japan has raised its travel alert to level 2

This announcement came at around 740pm, give or take. NHK announced exactly what Koike was going to say at 720 or so.

Both are requests, and announceed almost in unison, a very japanese way of doing things. Koike spoke in very polite Japanese with no imperative at all. It was like: please co-operate and do your best to not go out this weekend if at all possible.

Likewise for the government call upon people to refrain from unnecessary travel overseas. Not a command.

That's it. No sense of crisis! So in other words, business as usual.

7 ( +10 / -3 )

@carpslidy

I'm sorry to hear this is affecting your livelihood (you too @since1981). It's a difficult situation with no good answer. There will be many amongst us soon facing similar situations. A lockdown will be devastating for the economy, no doubt. But what happens if we don't take extreme measures? At some point people will decide for themselves to stay home (out of fear) and then the economy suffers anyway and we're left with a humanitarian crisis on top. I don't want a lockdown, but I I believe it it is inevitable. I'd like to believe taking precautions will be enough, but I worry it's too late for that now. Like I said, there is no "good" solution here. We're left with trying to decide which decision is less bad.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

@Bungle

I was talking to friend of mine about this today. I reckon you should contact your embassy to report you may have coronavirus and have no way of finding out. I would recommend all non-japanese who have symptoms to do likewise.

The reason is that you may get really ill, man. No help is going to come from the Japan side.

Hopefully you are fine.

8 ( +12 / -4 )

@Tora,

Yes very Japanese way. Gaijin are expected to understand Japanese anyhow, unless its the Olympics of course, then all kinds of silly hoop jumping is going to show their making efforts at being international.

Fukushima repeat...nothing changes. Take notes, it will all happen again, patterns and trends.

17 ( +21 / -4 )

This article has changed a little since the first posts. Seeing it now with that picture of Koike infuriates me. So shameful. So blatant. How do people like her live with themselves.

10 ( +13 / -3 )

And what the hell is with this "overshoot" crap they made up? Overshooting what? Your planned trajectory? Call it what it is, call it what the rest of the world is calling it... exponential growth.

23 ( +24 / -1 )

How do we know what we see on the news is real or not?

Is the infection really spreading?

Well, I personally know 2 Japanese people with the virus-just heard today.

One case of infection was a son to both parents, a returnee from England.

The other female was infected locally, most likely by a Japanese but no way of knowing for sure.

My loca hospital has had several cases I have heard about from medical staff.

So, it appears to be virulent and infectious as we all see.

I have a sore throat and a mild cough but no temperature- feel it is just getting started,

I’m hoping 6000 mgs of vit C a day will make life uncomfortable for it and it will take a hike...

13 ( +15 / -2 )

They make you go through loopholes after loopholes to get test.. you have to go through consultation, chest x-ray at your local hospital, and then another consultation to recommend the test in order to qualify... People aren't going to do all that..

Don't even get me started on the social judgement that oh so many here are afraid of if they do test positive..

It will get a whole lot worse until it gets better because Japan is so good at not taking matters seriously until it's a complete disaster..

19 ( +22 / -3 )

Tokyo, Osaka, and Nagoya should be lock downed for two weeks.

7 ( +13 / -6 )

What I want to know is, if I ever see toilet paper on the shelves here

Not sure where you are but toilet paper is all over the place now where I am at.

8 ( +10 / -2 )

Many people have it , some show symptoms, some show bad symptoms, some show really bad symptoms, its just that many it wont affect too much, so they wont bother getting checked and if they do the chances of convincing a hospital to test are slim to none.,

But ...

BlattamexiguusToday 08:17 pm JST

testing and social distancing should have been the norm here weeks ago.

Japan should have blocked entry from China in January and in fact the whole world should isolated China in january, now we all have to pay the price for our politicians stupidity and bad decisions.

Not happy and still want to know where do i submit the bill to for the damage done by Chinas leaders

Do not ever ever again let this happen, next time just shut down the god damn place nothing out of china next time until its cured.

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

People who die, die of whatever the coroner determines is the cause of death. For example, of liver failure, a heart attack, pneumonia, respiratory issues, cancer, etc.

Death certificates are usually signed off by a doctor and autopsies are more rare than in the west.

15 ( +16 / -1 )

I have a sore throat and a mild cough but no temperature- feel it is just getting started,

Same, kurisu. As yet, no fever.

9 ( +9 / -0 )

Urge! How many infections and deaths will it take for Japan to get proactive and ‘order’ people to stay home? The amount doubled today + tomorrow + a week + a month. Stay home and stay safe people of Japan. The government is hopeless!

14 ( +14 / -0 )

I don't particularly want a lockdown as it will cripple me financially.

But. I don't want to see a crisis like the scenarios in Italy, Iran, US etc.

So I'll prepare for the worst and hopefully be pleasantly surprised when all this is over.

12 ( +14 / -2 )

It will get a whole lot worse until it gets better because Japan is so good at not taking matters seriously until it's a complete disaster..

You left out the part about blame

8 ( +8 / -0 )

STOP GW NOW. Stop domestic flights NOW. STOP the spread of COVID-19 in Japan.

9 ( +9 / -0 )

Good luck with that.

As we have seen, people around the world have been ignoring stay at home and social distancing guidelines.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

STOP GW NOW

You are suggesting Japan to take away vacation from my current coronavirus vacation?

3 ( +4 / -1 )

What I want to know is, if I ever see toilet paper on the shelves here. This is ony aspect I don´t understand. It is not like this is a diarrhea pandemic now, or is it?

Yeah, I never understood the toilet paper thing. Most Japanese have a washlet to wash and dry their nether regions. Most cringe and argue vehemently against using paper because it is "unsanitary."

Some who have the virus have diarrhea and the virus also travels that way. So more super cleaning if you do.

Two symptoms I heard from a doctor yesterday were the loss of taste and of smell. Dry cough is symptomatic, Bungle. Shut it down and stay home until you recover or are tested and know for sure. In contrast, sneezing and wet cough are symptomatic of allergies and colds. Sometimes other flu.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

And what the hell is with this "overshoot" crap they made up? Overshooting what? Your planned trajectory? Call it what it is, call it what the rest of the world is calling it... exponential growth.

Kono Taro was criticized for starting the katakana vocabulary such as cluster or overshoot as the elderly have no idea what these words mean. Why not use Japanese it was said. Same reaction, what the hell is an overshoot?

o-baa-shyuuto desu ne.

Hiding the real numbers desu ne.

17 ( +18 / -1 )

@Da, no, at no point did I mention the current hiatus. I referred specifically to GW week being stopped. Not CM AKA Coronavirus Month(s).

4 ( +4 / -0 )

So you go to work Monday to Friday on crowded commuter trains to crowded workplaces, but can't go to a park or a shopping centre at the weekend? Nuts. If the coronovirus is a problem, then there should be a lock-down. If it isn't a problem, then enough with all the panic.

19 ( +20 / -1 )

hmmm, mixed thoughts on that. I dont think foreigners will be in the mood to come here anytime soon, and I dont want to suggest that the blame the gaijin hysteria will start. Hard to say, as the numbers are confusing. Growing like mad in NYC, but Germany its low. I dont know whats going on in Japan. No testing? Cover ups? Culture? Or is something on the horizon. Dont know.

I know some people from countries where their country is now on lockdown. Their airports are too! Apparently, they can't even return to their home country at the moment. They are stuck in Japan.

The only people who can help them is their embassy, but I am not sure what they can do!

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Told ya! Yesterday it's confirmed Olympics will be postponed, and this woman, who literally up to the postponement decision said everything was A-okay, is now saying not to go outside or attend events with lots of people, etc. I guess where we see most politicians' priorities were until now.

21 ( +26 / -5 )

China, the gift that keeps on giving.

3 ( +16 / -13 )

They risked the international communities health. Come to japan, it’s safe. When they knew it wasn’t. That IMO is unforgivable.

11 ( +14 / -3 )

Don't even get me started on the social judgement that oh so many here are afraid of if they do test positive..

Absolutely. A point that is not made enough - infections are likely to not be reported due to social judgement on infectees and victim blaming.

9 ( +10 / -1 )

Everyone I know is expecting a big jump in reported cases now the Olympics are postponed.

...Also worth noting, that although it seems to be a requirement for taking time off work or getting a COVID-19 test, you can have it without having a fever. Read a news story yesterday about a pregnant woman with difficulty breathing and fatigue who went to the hospital multiple times over a week and a half before they thought to test her for coronavirus because she had no fever. She was positive.

11 ( +12 / -1 )

@CraneToday

They make you go through loopholes after loopholes to get test.. you have to go through consultation, chest x-ray at your local hospital, and then another consultation to recommend the test in order to qualify... People aren't going to do all that..

Are you speaking from personal experience here? I'm curious because the "anti-testers" on this site and the J-Gov want us to believe that testing is bad because going to a medical facility to get tested will result in more infections.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

I've been telling everyone to wear masks and be careful for two months now.

-2 ( +6 / -8 )

Don’t Japan executives see what’s happening in Europe just to name one region. If not already too late, now is the time to step up and take more drastic measures than to kindly advise people to consider not to go out. Countries in current lockdown regret that they didn’t call for it more early. It’s happening anyway.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@TheLongTermer

Still confused on the Japan strategy, but this is Japan, its supposed to be confusing

It is very clear to me. The real reason of the low number of tests is the traditional bureaucratic selfishness of Japan: the Japan Medical Association (Nihon Ishi Kai, JMA). The JMA de facto monopolies the Japanese medical industry. The JMA considers that coronavirus mass testing would require a lot of sacrifice of Japanese doctors, but is not profitable at all (virtually no money to doctors). In TV, doctors from the JMA say mass test is not useful in preventing the spread disease, because they know very well that they will be overwhelmed by the tests, but without any profit. It is all about money. This kind of nonsensical propaganda of the JMA has been successful in brainwashing naive Japanese. The JMA and the NIID do not care of Japanese, but only themselves. This is why the number of tests and deaths is so low but the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare, under influence of the NIID and the JMA, have suppressed it. Remember that this kind of bureaucratic selfishness once started the Pacific war (WWII), destroying the entire Japan. Let's see what the SARS-CoV-2 strain combined with the JMA under another bureaucratic regime of the LDP will do after the postponement of the Olympic.

More info in Japanese:

https://togetter.com/li/1476075

http://eritokyo.jp/independent/aoyama-731orgf3.htm

https://www.hokeni.org/docs/2017040500726/

-2 ( +11 / -13 )

@quercetum

My understanding of Overshoot = inability of hospital infrastructure to handle a sudden increase in admissions.

I.e. a sudden increase in patients overwhelms the hosptial system.

Agreed, this katakana nonsense has to stop. And, as you can see, we don't even use it in English!

Who makes these things up?

12 ( +12 / -0 )

Does anyone have a real timeframe on when masks will be available in plenty of supply vs the 1 package per day that runs out in about 15 minutes and standing in a line with 50 or more people everyday?

Moderator do you have any specific information to share with us?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Told ya! Yesterday it's confirmed Olympics will be postponed, and this woman, who literally up to the postponement decision said everything was A-okay, is now saying not to go outside or attend events with lots of people, etc. I guess where we see most politicians' priorities were until now.

Are you denying that more people are out and about now (and not wearing masks as much)? You don't think it is possible the government saw the same thing we saw - that people were getting complacent? Did you not read that Tokyo had their highest daily spike in infections? All of these are much more likely reasons for the change in tone than your Olympics conspiracy theory.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

They risked the international communities health. Come to japan.....

Yeah more bizarre logic. They invested so much for "you" so thats the priority, your health? daijobu. If you got sick, well your dream of coming to Japan was fulfilled, Lets make it a memory.

I reach a wall sometimes trying to understand Japanese. Like, most would conclude a trip to Japan and Olympic experience would forever be tainted by a few weeks in intensive care, but for them, thats all secondary. Upmost importance is team Japan, and your memory of wonderful Tokyo and the grand stadium they built for us.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

My bros in New York sent me some photo's with completely deserted streets.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

41 new is nothing; other countries are posting 1000+ a day. Stay home, spend time with loved ones but do not panic and be thankful that you are in one of the safest place in the world.

-7 ( +4 / -11 )

Every country has some political showpiece, she wish to prove it.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

At AEON’s My Basket now on a quiet Wednesday night and there’s a line of 21 people in this small corner grocery store. People are stocking up.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

@Jeff Ko

41 new is nothing; other countries are posting 1000+ a day. Stay home, spend time with loved ones but do not panic and be thankful that you are in one of the safest place in the world.

41, officially. Other countries are testing way more than Japan. Tokyo, the city alone, then again has way more people than some countries. Do the math.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

Kono Taro was criticized for starting the katakana vocabulary such as cluster or overshoot as the elderly have no idea what these words mean.

The Japanese authorities discovered long ago the wheeze of wrapping themselves in an inky cloud of unintelligible terms to report bad news, employing as many 外来語 as they can get away with. English derived katakana are a perfect means to hide, obfuscate, or lessen the emotional impact of nasty, shocking, embarrassing events and situations, and by sprinkling their "explanations" with an assortment of foreign words they can handily disguise the fubars and murky dealings of officials and their culpability. Once the Olympics were called off, it was inevitable and predictable that attention would immediately be given to the dreaded rising numbers that had been brushed under the rug. We remember that the very same avoidance mentality led to the catastrophe of 1945. Plus ça change, innit?

9 ( +11 / -2 )

The population in the Tokyo Metropolitan area is 37.4 million. The city itself has 8.3 million. 41 is low. Strict conditions to qualify for tests is a factor but with the Olympics postponed, this should change.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

Said it a number of days ago the GOVT was\is playing roulette with their own people.

And now that the Olympics are officially NOT happening this summer & NOW all the concern....WTF.... the govt's deception is\will get people KILLED & to boot has made men\women on the street carriers that infect family, co-workers, fellow commuters...….and some of these people will die...…

And of course NO ACCOINTABILITY......as is per usual, this could get super ugly, hope not but it might!

7 ( +8 / -1 )

Supermarket Shelves are bare now. Still long queues at 2330hrs. Good Luck folks!

5 ( +8 / -3 )

No one has any faith in what the Government says, especially after 2011/03... Back then most of the population were holed up indoors watching online radiation counters... and the TV for news.... shop shelves were also bare.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

I've been telling everyone to wear masks and be careful for two months now,

Dust masks (p95 or better is different) don't work to project you from catching it?

But you should wear at least a dust mask or bandana when around anybody else since it will reduce the chances of YOU from infecting others. If EVERYBODY wore a mark or bandana equivalent, it would make a difference.

During this crisis, I think that you shouldn't be even allowed outside without one. It also means you're not going to get punched in the face because people feel nervous just being around a maskless person.

-8 ( +1 / -9 )

Only dictators of communist countries care about their butts more than peoples lives. I really feel sorry for the Japanese people.

4 ( +7 / -3 )

Trump: Just reported that the United States has done far more “testing” than any other nation, by far! In fact, over an eight day span, the United States now does more testing than what South Korea (which has been a very successful tester) does over an eight week span. Great job!

Japan may catch up soon. Let the tests begin!

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

Masks will help a little, for the general public, mostly in confidence building, but it's the HealthCare Workers that need them the most, as well as protective covering. The virus can apparently remain upon surfaces for up to 17... yes 17 days! So after you've been shopping in close proximity of your fellow shoppers, maybe worth showering, and washing your clothing.

Some are even saying you should wash your fruit and veg with soap. I wonder if you simply microwaved everything for a few seconds whether that'd help - anyone ?

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

@Jeff KO, the word you’re looking for is: Exponentially

8 ( +8 / -0 )

No surprise that the most populous city in Japan is the center of Japan's infections.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

I guess it was supposed to happen as the Olympics were postponed.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

It is infuriating how Japan has sat idly by and watched the world begin to burn. How can complacency seem a valid answer when the death toll rises exponentially in developed nations across the world? The arrogance and ignorance displayed here is nothing short of tragic. You can basically treat this scenario as if the general populace has been walking around blind to the spreading infection for weeks.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

= Abe was clearly hiding the stats just to save his Olympics.

4 ( +7 / -3 )

@since 1971

Good luck, I wotJe

1 ( +1 / -0 )

So koike wants Tokyo people to self isolate until April 12th whilst PM Abe wants the schools back in on April 6th? Talk about mixed messages !

As a Tokyo primary school teacher I have zero chance of not catching this virus as at work I spend at least four hours a day in tiny classrooms with up to 40 children all of whom are constantly sneezing and coughing on me. So forgive me if I don't waste my school holiday self isolating if you're going to force me into exposure to the virus again on April 6th. I could be killed in the new school term!

This spring break might be the last holiday I ever get thanks to the utter sxxt show of bad management and reactionary governance.

I'm sorry guys. I'm enjoying my holiday. I'm going outside. I will enjoy the blossom. I'll wear a mask. I'll be careful but I am not spending my possibly last ever holiday stuck indoors.

6 ( +8 / -2 )

@mmwkdw

The virus can apparently remain upon surfaces for up to 17... yes 17 days! 

Source? Stuff like this does not help. It just feeds panic. Data I have read, from reputable sources, puts it at 72 hours on plastics, less on most other surfaces.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

Seriously, Koike is the last person you should listen to. What she has just said is nothing new. I would say just ignore that woman and keep getting information from experts.

6 ( +8 / -2 )

This woman is a joke.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

Source? Stuff like this does not help. It just feeds panic. Data I have read, from reputable sources, puts it at 72 hours on plastics, less on most other surfaces.

Sorry to interrupt, but I have source on an analogue virus to SARS-CoV

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2863430

"At 4°C, infectious virus persisted for as long as 28 days, and the lowest level of inactivation occurred at 20% RH. Inactivation was more rapid at 20°C than at 4°C at all humidity levels; the viruses persisted for 5 to 28 days, and the slowest inactivation occurred at low RH. Both viruses were inactivated more rapidly at 40°C than at 20°C. "

Japanese government was first saying the virus doesn't survive long, then a few hours, then a few days. Japanese government always downplaying this virus have a lot to do with why barely anyone in Japan is taking this virus seriously anymore. MHLW is the absolutely worst source for information, always downplaying the virus such as saying that it cannot spread via aerosol even now (because there's no "evidence" of it occurring "in Japan", as if Japan have some special power that prevents the virus from spreading), better to look to EU/US for up to date information.

On the other hand, how is Tokyo able to determine if there's an overshoot when it allows to test ~100 new persons per day? https://stopcovid19.metro.tokyo.lg.jp/

Japan's government's testing policies (pretty much de facto ban) actually make it impossible for them to identify an "overshoot" when it occurs.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

Only stay at home at weekends? What's the bloody point of that!

13 ( +14 / -1 )

I feel bad for people in essential jobs who have no choice but to go to work to service the rest of us. WHEN they get COVID-19, may it be recognized quickly, may they self-isolate, quickly, and may their bought with it be mild so they can get back to providing the help for all the rest of us.

We haven't been passed our street in almost 3 weeks. Been making a shopping list for a trip, probably tomorrow. Plan to go early in the morning to avoid as many others. Plus, we are fairly certain NOT to be infected based on our complete lack of symptoms and self-imposed social distancing from the world. We are lucky. I work from home, so pay might slow down as clients need to slow outward payments, but it won't stop.

I'd rather my clients spend that money on keeping their own people at reduced pay for as long as possible. We can easily wait 120+ days for our payment, assuming we do actually get paid, eventually, this year.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

@Luddite

She's testing the waters. It is mostly young people who are out and about on weekends. She's hoping they will get the message that this is serious.

Doing it on a weekday won't make any difference since everybody at work or school.

I'm guessing this is just to get people in the right frame of mind before the coming lockdown. It will also make it easier to call it, since the excuse will be that people didn't listen and continued to go out when asked nicely not to.

The lockdown is probably coming.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

One day after Olympics finally postponed and numbers increase.

Coincidence? I think not.

We all knew this was coming. Only those that aren't living in Japan are still delusional about the country having it under control. Japan is always downplaying crisis when they should actually be addressed.

I'm ready for the lockdown :))

2 ( +3 / -1 )

The lockdown is probably coming.

Actually Japanese don't have the laws for an enforced lock-down. So lock-down in Japan will not happen like the other countries. Not now, not ever. Really what she's doing right now, "urging" people is already the best that she could do under Japanese law. In terms of Japan government action, I think we have seen as far as they are willing to go.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

In terms of Japan government action, I think we have seen as far as they are willing to go.

Hope so. I think they are anxious to "do something" seeing how cities in the US (mainly) are locking down.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@tora This is not the time to test the waters or urge people to stay at home. That ship sailed weeks ago. Are you too ignoring what is happening elsewhere? Japan has had several weeks warning of what is to come and has done nothing. And now they are still doing nothing, this stupid stay at home

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Why is everyone so freaking out? The Coronavirus is no more deadly than a bad seasonal flu in most cases. You guys been watching way too many Walking Dead episodes. This is about as bad as it gets and I hear no news about mass killings or mass starvation, have you? No person ever died due to the lack of toilet paper in the history of mankind! Stay home and play video games or something. Freaking out helps no one, especially yourself.

-16 ( +4 / -20 )

Scrapping cherry blossom parties like taking hugs away from Italians: Koike

https://japantoday.com/category/national/scrapping-japan-cherry-blossom-'like-taking-hugs-away-from-italians'-tokyo-gov

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Read this NYT article. https://www.nytimes.com/2020/03/24/magazine/coronavirus-family.html Husband got sick, wife and 16 yr old daughter are providing care. What it is like for a family living with this virus.

It isn't just a bad flu. Reading the article, sounds less like a bad flu and more like a 2-3 week case of mono (mononucleosis) + bad flu.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Wake up, just see what is going on in New York, especially the city. The numbers are doubling every couple of days and they have closed schools, non essential businesses and require social distancing. This virus lives surfaces for up to nine days including your clothes. Today even the Prince Charles has the virus. This not about politics or the Olympics, this is about keeping people alive.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Jeff Ko

That is such a misnomer. For some that is so true but for many and not just old people, it is proving fatal. You can pick it up and easily contaminate someone who will die from it. That is why so many places in the United States are in lockdown.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

This virus lives surfaces for up to nine days including your clothes.

Just read that the Princess cruise ship had the virus on surfaces 17 days after the passengers left the cabins. Both symptomatic and asymptomatic passenger cabins were found to have the virus. https://www.usatoday.com/story/travel/cruises/2020/03/24/coronavirus-diamond-princess-cabin-surfaces-contaminated-cdc-report/2905924001/

And 17.9% of those identified as infected never developed symptoms, which the CDC said could partially explain the high infection rate among the ship's passengers and crew.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@Jeff Ko

As everybody said.

Hospital do not exist for the sole purpose of dealing with covid-19. Meaning all year long they save live. When the hospital start being overflowded with critical patient, the staff end up exhausted and for some contaminated, ... how will they deal with all the patient covid-19 and other ?
9 ( +10 / -1 )

Seeing that Japan is a pretty low-touch culture and that public hygiene and general health is extremely good, I do not expect very high numbers of deaths here

Sorry, but this is dumbest thing I have read so far. Have you been on the trains? Its a petri dish for spreading any disease. I guarantee that there is at least one infected person in every car nowadays, and it will get worse if no action is taken.

Secondly, you don't need to touch other people to get infected. You can get infected by touching objects that an infected person has touched, especially smooth surfaced objects like a touch panel. Japan is full of touch panels and if you take a very good look at them, they are filthy and full of oily fingerprints. So don't even give me this "public hygiene is good" crap, because its NOT...its just NOT!!

11 ( +13 / -2 )

There is nothing new here. Finally they are admitting the reality. Japan had been living a life of lies concerning the corona virus outbreak all in a bid to protect the Olympics. Once the games was postponed, they have now come face to face with the reality and forced to admit it is unpleasant. If they ramp up testing, they know the real situation on the ground.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

Those pack trains will be the breeding ground of the virus.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Too little way way way too late. The blind "The Olympics must go on, everything is okay" will killed many Japanese people... Now that isn't an option you need to "stay home for a month" not a weekend.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

I think she needs more mics.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

The day after the Olympics were postponed, for some reason the number of cases skyrocketed. Hmmmm.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Scrapping cherry blossom parties like taking hugs away from Italians: Koike

She’s a politician and this got her the LDP support for her bid for re-election. Once the Games were postponed, she had to act tough and call for a lock down. It’s a political game testing the wind.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

The virus can apparently remain upon surfaces for up to 17... yes 17 days! 

This is true. It was actually published a few days ago when they found the corona virus on the Diamond Princess 17 days after the last infected person was evacuated. Imagine what the touch panels at the train stations and super markets are like.

Stuff like this does not help. It just feeds panic. Data I have read, from reputable sources, puts it at 72 hours on plastics, less on most other surfaces.

Being ignorant and complacent about the reality of the situation (much like where he are now) is even worse. People falsely believe that they will be okay in public surroundings largely due to the government not being truthful about the actual number of people who are sick, and the risks involved. There are way too many people out and about and TOUCHING things, as if nothing is going on, while people are getting sick and dying.

72 hours is probably the case in most cases, but they have seen the virus survive much longer in some cases, so we must go under the assumption that this virus can spread much more quickly than we originally expected due to the longetivity of its life cycle.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Don't even get me started on the social judgement that oh so many here are afraid of if they do test positive..

This. Like Fukushima refugees all over again

4 ( +5 / -1 )

I dont think being a Japanese politician is all of it, as you might see in the US. Its more like gaiatsu, (outside pressure) When other countries like the US are now in lock down, and such a reaction was very successful in reducing numbers in SG SK and China, Japan is looking very ignorant day by day.

Remember, Abe and Koike both wanted to press forward with the Olympics, like Japan was that special place that got it right. Im not hating on Abe, I think he has handled this well so far, the are Japanese so I expected this reaction.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Where are the constant reminders to wash hands, properly, frequently? Where is the advice telling people to keep two metres apart? What about telling those who can work from home to do so? Stop unnecessary travel? Self quarantine if you have symptoms? Where?

Nothing. The silence is deafening and this inactivity by the authorities will kill people.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

not really good at math, but... weekend ,s just two days ( against five weekdays ) ... i think it,s gonna take more than two days to slow this thing down... this “request” ( really? ) is just the prelude to the real lockdown coming up in the next few weeks...

1 ( +2 / -1 )

What is with all this "urging" all the time. Either demand with force of law or keep quiet.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

1) They were hiding the numbers to try and make the Tokyo Olympics attractive. (Not a problem now)

2) They don't want to enforce restrictions on businesses / people because they're worried about their sagging economy.

These guys need to start putting in strict laws like Canada is doing with their people by ordering them to stay home during this crisis and not go out unless they need food / gas / medical supplies.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

So much negativity.

What would happen to people who work on a contract basis?

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

They don't want to enforce restrictions on businesses / people because they're worried about their sagging economy

I totally don't understand the logic behind this, because the economy depends on PEOPLE to be ALIVE and healthy

5 ( +5 / -0 )

What about week days?

Corona took holiday or promise not to infect people?

Actually they're worried about economy not about citizen.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

Absolutely. A point that is not made enough - infections are likely to not be reported due to social judgement on infectees and victim blaming.

So, very Japanese! Fukushima vol. 2

2 ( +2 / -0 )

This request is left up to people's judgement...

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Great work koike, all you’ve done is start a panic in Tokyo, supermarkets are full of people panic buying with queues 1 hour long. Instead of sound bites and stupid ideas like giving everyone a 12k rebate, close the borders, test for the virus and contain it. This is not a joke or a minor problem, this is the biggest global issue since 9/11..

5 ( +5 / -0 )

This is how it starts. Lockdown in 3.. 2.. 1..

1 ( +2 / -1 )

What would happen to people who work on a contract basis?

and what will happen if people catch the virus then come home and give it to their families!?

people have to come to realise what's more important their health of their familiers of their jobs, sacrificing 2 weeks of your lives for say, staying alive!

1 ( +2 / -1 )

This request is left up to people's judgement...

and many judgement will be going to the coronavirus party that is cherry blossoms, because kawaii is more important common sense, remember what Koike said stopping Japanese from going to cherry blossoms is like stopping Italians from kissing. Guess what Italians have now stopped kissing

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Japanese always do what they are told until they don't.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

I need To visit the Kanagawa Cancer center once a month to receive chemotherapy. I had my last treatment a week ago. At the time I had to use public transportation. Only a week ago, but I worried about social contact since I am considered very vulnerable with underlying issues. The Cancer center sees on an average 1,000 patients a day. Most patients are vulnerable. I mentioned to my doctors that I hoped the mysterious virus would not invade the hospital. My doctor showed me a guideline the cancer center will use if patients come down with the flu or virus. I left his office knowing I would not have to visit the hospital for a month. I was content with that but I needed to get home as the trains were crowded.

It has been a week for me as I have stayed clear of all transportation. I have a week to begin to feel better as my immune system builds resistance to the chemo I took.

Personally I hope I am OK but worry that after the Olympics were finally postponed, that Koike’s remarks will not be heeded. My wife mentioned briefly that Japan does not have laws to insist on a mandatory lockdown.

I have a week to be very careful and truly hope Japan realizes the severity of the situation. Many other countries have! Testing is important!!

4 ( +4 / -0 )

kitzrow

stay strong and good spirits. Stay at home as much as possible except for exercise I have only been out once in 37 days.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Few days ago, in front of a busy station in Tokyo suburbs, I saw a guy with a big sign “inviting” people to pachinko! Go figure...

1 ( +1 / -0 )

@kitzrow I’m really sorry for what you’re going through. If I lived in the Tokyo area I would give you a ride to the hospital during these harsh times.

Please take care and try to use the transportation during off peak times.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

It is bl00dy pointless telling people to stay home over the weekend when they go to work on the train and visit restaurants as usual for lunch during the week. Nothing will change.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

kurisupisu and others

wakame seaweed salad boost immunity. So do white button mushrooms. Try to incorporate them into your diet and that should help. (NutritionFacts.org)

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

peeps, get out and enjoy the spring! Outside! One meter apart. Cough on your elbow and wash your hands frequently. Don’t touch your face. Limit contact with old people.

get out and have fun. 24 hour coverage of doom, doom, doom will great psychological and physical damage. Just follow the advise.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

My student a doctor who made a request for 2 of his patients for the virus test and one patient was accepted the other was not even though both had pneumonia symptoms.   I asked my student what the official numbers were for Tokyo and he said that the government is not giving out that info to doctors.   This is the reality.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

There was a run on my local supermarket and conbini today. They are both almost cleared out. They both also 24hrs. The hit could have started last night!

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I need To visit the Kanagawa Cancer center once a month to receive chemotherapy. I had my last treatment a week ago. At the time I had to use public transportation. Only a week ago, but I worried about social contact since I am considered very vulnerable with underlying issues. The Cancer center sees on an average 1,000 patients a day. Most patients are vulnerable. I mentioned to my doctors that I hoped the mysterious virus would not invade the hospital. My doctor showed me a guideline the cancer center will use if patients come down with the flu or virus. I left his office knowing I would not have to visit the hospital for a month. I was content with that but I needed to get home as the trains were crowded.

Chemo patients are highly susceptible to the virus because of the weakened immune system to reduce the cancer or kill the cancer.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

@goodlucktoyou

peeps, get out and enjoy the spring! Outside! One meter apart. Cough on your elbow and wash your hands frequently. Don’t touch your face. Limit contact with old people.

get out and have fun. 24 hour.....

[SNIP]

Where do to live? In most big cities in japan it's impossible for people to go out and practice social distancing, due to the population density. And tell me, where would they wash their hands while outside ? And, avoid old people? How? 1-3 are old. Cough in your elbow?? Well, if you have a cough, it is the height of stupidity to be outside at the moment. Infact, everybody just bloody stay inside for a bit. It's the only effective way to get the RO of this thing down to less than 1.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

This nation is living under a rock!

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Suck it up from Sydney, Australia the whole world is shutting down for a while .. we're all in the same boat. Wait it out as best you can.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

No talk of handwashing or social distancing on NHK news, I had to switch off. It's all Tokyo centric too, so everyone in Japn stays complacent. This ineptitude is criminal.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Why this week-end ???.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I don't know why but I have a feeling they are immune to it somehow. Not sure how and why. I spoke to someone who lives in japan now and I kinda got upset with her how she really did not take my words of advice seriously,..almost as to make fun of it and to make me seem as if I was panicking - its really like they dont care or really not concerned about it. i remember when i lived there, i caught all kinds of crazy and nasty viruses from kids to idiot adults coughing and not covering their mouths. I also remember seeing something about a japanese drug being offered online or somewhere that states that it helps people recover from the virus. maybe some countries are trying to capitilize during these times on something. That is a bit sick if you ask me,..not in the virus sense.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Tokyo is the largest city in the world but it's been lucky so far. You gotta use your heads here and play it safe. This is no time for playing with loaded dice.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Tokyo is the largest city in the world but it's been lucky so far. 

Yes, because the virus just hates Tokyo. I’m sure once they start testing and they see the numbers rise, they’ll realize they were duped by believing in luck.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Where are all the posters that we’re claiming Japan is special (don’t touch, are clean, wear masks, etc.) so escaping the full brunt of this virus just four days ago? I don’t reckon they’ll be here admitting they were utterly incorrect any time soon.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

News on the street is that there will be another announcement regarding a "lockdown" next week sometime. Best use the non-enforced "quieter" weekend to do some long term shopping... if you can find anything!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Should be dry in Morning 9am-2pm but more likely to be wet after 3pm - so choose your going out time carefully.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I saw a post above mentioning Face-masks, not sure where that individual is located, though I am completely unable to find one within my area. So I have to go around without one. Is that to be seen as my fault ?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@TARA TAN KITAOKA - Cherry Blossom "viewing" weekend...

However, given that the beer shelves are the only ones still full in my local Super, I guess this the recommendation will be adhered to ... at least locally.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

As this recommendation is not enforced, I'm off to the Gym this weekend. Should hopefully be quieter

Another gym got identified as a cluster spot in Gifu,so gyms could be shutting down again soon.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

@cracaphat - yes your are right... however,

I know, some Gyms are getting shut down (Globally), there is a reason I guess per Gym.

Recently, I visited the one in Roppongi Hills - its Super Expensive one - has the US Golds Gym style of Equipment along with other Training areas - and looks to be very well equipped, yet I didn't see any cleaning materials around, maybe they have some - I don't know - I'd rather simply go to a public gym that has more facilities on offer - and obvious hand-cleansing sprays, etc. (This is the continual balancing act I keep reviewing between private paid for Gym and Public).

The "cheaper chain" I signed up for, does however have both Alcohol based wipes and sprays (within all its gyms I frequent) which people "are" using before & after equipment usage - at least in the gyms I use... and even before this virus outbreak when someone didn't wipe off their sweat from a machine/weight/bench another gym user would often try and correct their ways. So I sort of feel more comfortable at the moment. Certainly more so, than being crammed into a train full of individuals who may or may not care about their own health, let alone the impact that their condition may have upon others!

Keeping ones distance from other Gym users as an Etiquette thing... (unless you are into the touchy feely thing of some individuals (Sorry I'm old-school and don't do that), and I have rarely seen that happen here locally between patrons - except however, when its done by some of the so called resident Gym Trainers - "Cringy" is the word I have for that. I keep my distance from them.

I, like other members, Wipe down equipment before and after usage, and ... hope for the best. Which is I hope, my fellow Gym members do too. Should a total Lock down occur, which is enforced, then as I said before, I will obey, and continue with my old style home routine.... indeed it may be more beneficial for overall fitness, so with that in mind, I will buy some extra roll-up type yoga mats & large towels tomorrow in order to have a more wider space for exercising upon without leaving any sweat behind within the small living room area.

That all said,

You know, a standard 2 Litre bottle of water is a great substitute for a light weight when working out - just increase and slow-down the reps and feel the pain... then you will know, it doesn't take much, but it requires dedication to your Goal.

All the best.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

No one mentioned that Koike just created a new “wasei-eigo.” Now the entire Japanese population thinks they know what the word “overshoot” means.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

No one mentioned that Koike just created a new “wasei-eigo.” Now the entire Japanese population thinks they know what the word “overshoot” means.

This was discussed more than a week ago. I doubt Koike herself came up with it..

0 ( +0 / -0 )

when I see Abe and her, it remains of the movie " Dumb and Dumber but hard to figure which one is which.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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