Commuters make their way through a subway station in Tokyo on Monday. Photo: REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon
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Tokyo moves away from numerical targets to fight coronavirus

46 Comments

Tokyo on Tuesday said it will move away from numerical targets to contain COVID-19 and rely more on the advice of a committee of experts, to try to control the novel coronavirus and avoid another economic slowdown.

The metropolis, with a population of 14 million, has sought to keep new cases below 20 a day since Japan lifted a state of emergency on May 25, but has had five straight days of more than 50 new cases as of Tuesday, when 54 infections were reported.

Tokyo is two weeks into a final phase of loosening coronavirus restrictions and officials have repeatedly said they see no need to declare a new state of emergency.

They also say the medical system can handle current cases and that increased testing partly explains the rising infections.

"It's an extremely different situation from what it was at the end of March when patients were increasing rapidly, but we still must be watchful," Governor Yuriko Koike told a news conference, where she announced the new measures would start on Wednesday.

Under the new guidelines, Tokyo will move away from strict numerical targets to determine if new restrictions are needed. Instead, a group of experts will evaluate the situation on a weekly basis.

"Our medical and testing systems have both been fortified," Koike said. "We are aiming to be able to both keep on top of the virus and keep economic activity going."

Tokyo, in common with the rest of Japan, has so far had a lower rate of infection than many countries.

The capital has recorded 6,100 cases and some 325 deaths, while Japan as a whole has had nearly 19,000 diagnosed with 973 deaths.

Koike, whose popularity has surged as she has dealt with the coronavirus, is running for re-election on July 5. Her campaign has been mostly digital to avoid large gatherings.

© Thomson Reuters 2020.

©2020 GPlusMedia Inc.

46 Comments
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Almost same talking like Donald.

Less testing means less cases.

Kind of weird logic!

23 ( +29 / -6 )

In other words, they’ll do nothing.

32 ( +34 / -2 )

Koike: "Let's get rid of the numerical targets since we can not maintain those numerical targets."

38 ( +39 / -1 )

ridiculous

22 ( +26 / -4 )

Yeah this idea that testing explains rising infections is ridiculous. It explains knowledge of the number and that is all. The people packed onto crowded trains, heading out to hostess bars, or gathering in other enclosed spaces could explain rising infections. Not testing though. Take your own precautions people. Stay safe.

22 ( +24 / -2 )

Statistically speaking, the difference between 20 new contagion cases per day and 50 cases per day is not very significant when considering an overall population of 14 million...

-13 ( +10 / -23 )

Elsewhere in Today's news the government has just scraped it's Coronavirus advisory panel. Apparently it was making the government feel "uncomfortable".

Hear no evil, see no evil, speak no evil.

29 ( +30 / -1 )

There is nothing irrational about money ! I think this a good strategy forward.

-21 ( +4 / -25 )

Moving the goal posts are we Japan? How very Donald of you.

21 ( +25 / -4 )

The previous guidelines were vague, but as soon as they hit the numbers those guidelines targeted...

...would consider reissuing business closure requests if the weekly average of new cases exceeds 50, more than half were untraceable or new cases increased in comparison to the week prior.

On Tuesday, Tokyo reported 54 additional cases of coronavirus infection, with the weekly average of daily new cases at 55.1, half of which were untraceable.

....they have jumped ship and introduced new guidelines.

'..increased testing partly explains the rising infections.'

Which is kind of the point.

I remain highly skeptical of the approach here.

17 ( +19 / -2 )

Those numerical targets were completely arbitrary and meaningless anyway. Still, using them when it suits the government and then ditching them as soon as it doesn't tell you a lot...

14 ( +14 / -0 )

So quantifying the Pandemic with already dodgy numbers has proved to be an embarrassment so their answer is to stop using numbers? I'm getting ready for a vague not specific assessment that tells me nothing.

17 ( +17 / -0 )

Koike: "Let's get rid of the numerical targets since we can not maintain those numerical targets."

Moving the goal posts are we Japan? How very Donald of you.

Indeed, this approach reminds me of the Fukushima nuclear disaster response....( very pre Donald ) ....ie..radiation spike exceeds the safe levels for general population?..response , increase the 'safe level limit ' .....voila, all is nice and dandy.

Same with this covid19 move......anyway, since we all know Jgovt has intentionally limited testing from the beginning to keep numbers low its up to us to keep taking precautions. Nihon suggoi.

19 ( +20 / -1 )

Mayor election next Sunday in Tokyo. Let’s wait for the figures after that.

Remember what happened after the Olympics decision

17 ( +18 / -1 )

If Koike loses the election she’ll never singing a different tune.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

*she’ll be

2 ( +3 / -1 )

So . . . . lets move away from using hard science to measure and track our ability to contain and control this. They're kind of embarrassing.

16 ( +16 / -0 )

Moving away from numbers. Such a great idea so that they do not need to give out any real information. Use pictures. Use crayons and draw an animal. Koike wants to be Mayor again. Hahahahahahahaaaaa!

15 ( +15 / -0 )

Great! If the truth is too inconvenient or "uncomfortable" as stated by an LDP lawmaker, let's ignore it so we can continue do to nothing.

The government looks more and more like a "CCP Light" except it is doing a worse job of hiding its incompetence. LDP running this country is like dogs flying a plane.

11 ( +12 / -1 )

t is about time.

Science is a process of getting an answer to specific problems with proper procedures and methods, etc. which gives a specific result for evaluation and determine its reliability and applicability, but still specific to that original problem. Here, all appear to think that the "spreading" of the disease will increase the "possibility" of people becoming infected and hospitalized, which if too many, the system will not be able to handle and more deaths will result from the virus.

That brings one to think that scientifically one needs to keep tabs on the spreading by testing as many of the population as possible and by that method keep track of the "spread" through contact analysis and "possible" routes of the "spread" because infections occur by close "contact" with those infected. Which all makes sense.

But that is still only one aspect of the pandemic. And it is still based upon one scientific "theory" not from actual testing but "assumptions" based upon still limited data which continues change because the data gathered is not within a "controllable" testing environment, it continues to "increase" with more testing'. That makes the results still an "assumption".

That is because 90% of the test results are "dependent" upon the "behavior" of people.

And the spread of the disease itself is 100% dependent upon the behavior of millions of people.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Slow down testing! Testing creates coronavirus. Less testing=less corona virus

9 ( +10 / -1 )

Tokyo will move away from strict numerical targets to determine if new restrictions are needed. 

they never did anything when the numbers flew past “strict numerical targets”

10 ( +10 / -0 )

Statistically speaking, the difference between 20 new contagion cases per day and 50 cases per day is not very significant when considering an overall population of 14 million...

If over twice the difference in growth rate is not "statistically" significant, then what is?

8 ( +9 / -1 )

Koike’s stupidity has no limits. Testing needs to be done to treat the sick people. Why is she even trying to run a city? She really is taking Donald Trump’s ideas and making the city worse by the day

11 ( +12 / -1 )

Tokyo has "fought" nothing. It's been cooking the books and hiding from the truth since day one.

Anyway, onto the next useless experiment by Koike.

9 ( +11 / -2 )

They want to shift the goalposts because the numbers aren't telling them what they want to hear: they want to hear that people are scared stiff of this virus. But the numbers don't support that.

According to their own figures,

https://stopcovid19.metro.tokyo.lg.jp/en/

It seems that the number of serious cases is on a steady decline even as the number of recorded positive tests is rising.

So is this virus even as serious as they claim it to be? While it's spreading, not many people are getting sick, especially not seriously ill. It's getting a little harder to justify lockdowns and business closures, and the damage from doing so will be worse than the damage from getting back to normal - as close to the old normal as possible not this new normal rubbish.

People want to get out and about and on with their lives. Industry wants to get back into gear. If people want to take individual precautions like staying home, wearing a mask or social distancing, or getting a jab, that should be under their own volition, not enforced by the government.

-6 ( +1 / -7 )

If Lying Yuriko is voted in the weekend again voters need to be slapped...

1 ( +4 / -3 )

This is so ridiculous that it's actually hilarious. This is actually a meme.

9 ( +11 / -2 )

What could possibly go wrong?

9 ( +10 / -1 )

Right now is the logical time to setup testing to deal with a possible second wave that many countries are experiencing, If China and South Korea have seen a rise, it seems likely Japan may too. What better time to prepare than now. But we have Abe and Koike, basically useless and incompetent.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

If they are fudging the numbers, should be easy to keep it down

3 ( +4 / -1 )

With the media already having declared victory over covid and pouring praise on the glorious government leaders, Japan can no longer declare any covid outbreaks as that would make the government lose face.

I expect the testing to be significantly reduced or just straight up make up numbers to make the government look good.

Koike have the backing of LDP and Nippon Kaigi, she can eat a baby and still win. There’s never really any contest for this election.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

If Lying Yuriko is voted in the weekend again voters need to be slapped...

Are you serious ?...you realize who J-public has been re-electing nationwide for decades , right?

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Well theres a whole lot of slapping to be done....

1 ( +1 / -0 )

This...

"rely more on the advice of a committee of experts, to try to control the novel coronavirus and avoid another economic slowdown."

Put out by JT 2 minutes after this...

"Gov't decision to scrap advisory coronavirus panel draws flak

Today 06:28 am JST 9 Comments "

So it's safe to assume that this new "commitee" will have no doctors or scientists involved, and just be big business and politicians?

Because the obvious important point of the first quote is...

"avoid another economic slowdown."

Too sad Japan, too sad...

6 ( +6 / -0 )

They also say the medical system can handle current cases and that increased testing partly explains the rising infections.

Unfortunately there are still many people even here on this board that believe the numbers dished out to the public. Increased testing without quoting any numbers is deceitful.

Tokyo carried out 2561 test on june 29, with a population of 14M, it is like a drop in the ocean and cannot be viewed as increased testing.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

Our medical and testing systems have both been fortified

Yet testing is still low.

Who is she deceiving, can't blame her, when you have a media that acts like a parrot anything can be said without expecting any hard questions.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Oldman

Tokyo has "fought" nothing. It's been cooking the books and hiding from the truth since day one.

Not only Tokyo, the country as a whole has limited testing and set numerical targets that are attainable by controlling the number of testing.

Yoshimura is planning 20,000 pcr test/day at Kansai airport when the entire has never performed 10.000 test a day.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Japan model aka save face model aka dodgy model. Habitually whitewash everything.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

The deaths rate is decreasing and understanding of the virus is increasing so yes its a good idea to change the parameters.

Not everything is a conspiracy.

-6 ( +1 / -7 )

I guessed the Tokyo number would be 60 yesterday. It was 54. Today I'm guessing 50. For the past 9 days or so it has been 50 or 55 or 60. These numbers make no sense and are obviously made up. A pandemic virus in a city will either rise or fall. Hovering between 50 to 60 over 9 days is not true - because one positive case creates multiple contagions. This government is making up these numbers.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Get rid of the virus completely. Zero testing NOW!

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Today is the highest number of new cases in Tokyo since lockdown ended. But lets move away from the numbers..

4 ( +5 / -1 )

J-Politician: "We vow that the virus is over! What's that? It's not? Well, we're certainly not going to shut down again... I'm still in hot water with Japan Inc., although they're happy they could get extra-overtime out of people tele-working. So, let's say, no more than 20 day. Nope. Never again. What? It's past that? Then fine... 50 a day. If it passes that mark, we'll close everything again. Hah! What? It's past that? Sheesh... you know... let's do away with these numbers. What do they mean, anyway. 0.1% of the population tested? Pshaw! Meaningless when we've had so few confirmed cases! I'm going to consult the experts -- the leaders at Panasonic, the Tokyo Olympic Committee organizers, politicians up for reelection in the near future, scientists told by said politicians what to say, and Ministry of Health experts who were formerly comedians/actors. So, rest easy knowing we've stopped counting."

3 ( +6 / -3 )

Very spot on points by many of you.

Now, let’s not forget: When did the Corona Virus start to spike for the first time? The day after the 2020 Olympics were postponed! Koike was adamant that they would not be cancelled and said 絶対-Zettai- they would go on. But then the IOC said what a min since athletes started pulling out. So we now have an Election this Sunday that all only Japanese citizens are allowed to participate. So of course, no one what’s the economic to slow down again and so Koike doesn’t need any bad press before Sunday. I guarantee on Mon, the new Virus cases will be over 100 people again and the 2bd Wave is here. I know everyone is tired of staying home but we need to take care of ourselves since the Gov. will not!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Millions of people travel in Tokyo everyday-there’s no way to stop the virus without staying apart, which is impossible in Tokyo

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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