A couple of women advertise PCR testing for COVID-19 near the front entrance gate for Meiji Shrine in Tokyo on Friday, Photo: AP/Kiichiro Sato
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Tokyo reports 783 new coronavirus cases; nationwide tally 3,247

45 Comments

The Tokyo metropolitan government on Friday reported 783 new cases of the coronavirus, down 554 from Thursday’s record high 1,337.

The number is the result of 6,363 tests conducted on Dec 29.

The tally brought Tokyo's cumulative total to 60,960.

By age group, the highest number of cases were people in their 20s (234), followed by 143 in their 30s, 132 in their 40s, 104 in their 50s and 59 in their 60s. Forty-four cases were younger than 20.

The number of infected people hospitalized with severe symptoms in Tokyo is 88, one down from Thursday, health officials said.

Nationwide, the number of reported cases was 3,247. After Tokyo, the prefectures with the most cases were Kanagawa (470), Osaka (262), Saitama (221), Aichi (193), Fukuoka (158), Chiba (144), Hyogo (128), Kyoto (103), Hokkaido (98), Hiroshima (73), Gifu (54), Tochigi (54), Okinawa (48) and Shizuoka (36).

Forty-nine coronavirus-related deaths were reported.

© Japan Today

©2021 GPlusMedia Inc.

45 Comments
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Unsurprisingly, the testing has screeched to a halt, the fax machines fell silent, and nobody is around to transcribe those few reports that did come in. The only thing that's not taking a well-deserved year-end holiday is the virus.

Expect relatively low numbers until next Tuesday or Wednesday.

20 ( +28 / -8 )

Only 88 severe cases? Oh, the US and UK would die for Japan's numbers.

-18 ( +12 / -30 )

783 out of how many tests?

4 ( +10 / -6 )

Heading in the right direction - DOWN!

-21 ( +5 / -26 )

With the testing wayyy down due to the new years holidays, I expect the national government to declare complete and total victory after the new years break and restart the Go-To programs, and Suga's support will probably surge back to 80%.

10 ( +15 / -5 )

Yes number are probably going to go down and up again from middle of next week. Then...are we going to get a new alert level ? A new color for the Tokyo tower ? Koike on TV in a hazmat suit ?

8 ( +12 / -4 )

Orders out keep those numbers down...

5 ( +8 / -3 )

It is mindbogling. Just watching and hoping every day, at least one of these selfish bureaucrats who think themselves “ leaders” shows some courage and makes a decision.

A real lockdown, or at least the confirmations on the Pfizer and Moderne vaccines and planning the inoculation campaign. But no. A senseless PM saying he will do” all necessary “ and do nothing. Promising Olympics agains all sense and reason.

i own 3 businesses in Japan but if these mindless politicians don’t act, I ‘ll close them.

This is pathetic.

10 ( +16 / -6 )

¥9,800 for a covid-19 test? No wonder test rate is so low in Japan.

11 ( +16 / -5 )

@robert maes yeah don't think your really going to see any action there its been 12 months now and look how they fumbled the ball all over the show. Pathetic yes it is but nothing will change until Japan gets some real leaders.

9 ( +13 / -4 )

There are many companies selling do it yourself PCR test kits, and they are all about ¥4000. Same kind of competition like phone plans. None:

0 ( +8 / -8 )

There are many companies selling do it yourself PCR test kits

Maybe you should consider educating yourself of the difference between a PCR test and an antigen test. Nobody is selling do-it-yourself PCR tests.

2 ( +9 / -7 )

@yoshisan88

¥9,800 for a covid-19 test? No wonder test rate is so low in Japan.

The saliva tests, which are unreliable and positive cases not disclosed, are at a lower price indeed.

However PCR at private clinics, are selling at ¥30,000/¥40,000, completely making it impossible for the common salarymen to be able to afford.

Important to highlight that, those mentioned above do not count to the daily tally, being private clinics.

Only the one’s booked via health care line count. A public service that basically refuses all requests... oh this when the line is not busy.

Anyway, Happy New Year everyone.

Please take care, be patient avoiding gatherings and indoors for a while and... take this seriously.

5 ( +9 / -4 )

ZORO-san:

Check out the posters on the windows and walls of MatsumotoKyoshi. Not ssure if I am allowed to write a name of a drug store chain here, and since I cannot post pictures, you will have to look for yourself. Each company says PCR home test kit.

-8 ( +4 / -12 )

Extremely troubling numbers. Almost ZERO testing, which is unbelievable in the middle of a disaster.

3 ( +8 / -5 )

New PCR testing shops opening for ¥2,900. plus ¥6,000 (excluding tax) for a negative certificate – with test results provided the next day.

https://www.timeout.com/tokyo/news/this-new-covid-19-testing-centre-in-shinbashi-offers-pcr-tests-for-just-2-900-120220

5 ( +10 / -5 )

Thanks Zichi.

0 ( +7 / -7 )

There are now over 10 thousand plus positive cases and rising each day in Tokyo and other areas of Japan the numbers keep rising not at the pace of Tokyo but still rising.

Here is what we need to be concerned about not only the numbers they post each day, however, the people who were tested positive were did they pick it up and how long were they out and about before getting testing positive.

Here is another point of concern it appears the number of under the age of 20 is rising and having an elementary school age son that is a concern.

1 ( +7 / -6 )

Only 88 severe cases? Oh, the US and UK would die for Japan's numbers.

Just finished watching the BBC News. There were 55,892 NEW cases in the UK yesterday.The last seven day average of new cases is 42,765.There were 964 deaths yesterday as well,bringing the past week average to 564 deaths per day.Those numbers are extremely worrying and all the other worrisome adjectives that go with such numbers.Many of yous map of reality is distorted.If I were in the UK reading those numbers,I'd be very concerned.But for those going off on Japan's numbers,how would you react to the above numbers if it were for Japan?

-5 ( +4 / -9 )

@zichi

Correct, saliva tests.

Not the proper PCR nose swab one.

That one, being by far the most accurate, would cost ¥30,000/¥40,000.

While these saliva tests are better than nothing, there are very few places to get it done, resulting in a long wait to get tested, more than 4/5 days from what I heard.

Very little efforts to facilitate testing.

I’d be celebrating these baby steps if we were talking about a third world country like Zambia.

Nothing against Zambia though, beautiful country.

3 ( +8 / -5 )

Just finished watching the BBC News. There were 55,892 NEW cases in the UK yesterday.The last seven day average of new cases is 42,765.There were 964 deaths yesterday as well,

With the greatest of respect, the majority of people are not concerned with the situation in places that have no connection to them, like the UK.

This is Japan Today.

2 ( +8 / -6 )

AG

copy that!

3 ( +6 / -3 )

cracaphat.

Just finished watching the BBC News. There were 55,892 NEW cases in the UK yesterday

...and nobody pointed out to you that "cases" is an irrelevant piece of information?

-1 ( +6 / -7 )

Each company says PCR home test kit.

No, they do not. You need special machines to get the result of a PCR test.

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

Not all victims die from the virus but there are survivors who are left with serious lung and health problems. Not being able to breathe probably is terrifying. Experienced something of that after my op and for several months more until I recovered better.

2 ( +7 / -5 )

If you're just looking at cases of 'the novel coronavirus' then you could pretty much say 'the flu'.

Only severe cases and deaths are of any real significance and thankfully they are very low. Or at least it doesn't seem like the Japanese government is hiding the bodies, is it?

Also, the way people talk about 'a real lockdown' is like how people talk about communism - it just hasn't been done yet! Despite the fact we now have over twenty peer-reviewed studies on outcomes (not models) showing they don't work: https://thefatemperor.com/published-papers-and-data-on-lockdown-weak-efficacy-and-lockdown-huge-harms/ (use the Sci Hub site if something's paywalled)

-5 ( +3 / -8 )

I’d be celebrating these baby steps if we were talking about a third world country like Zambia.

Zambia is actually doing better than Japan. Fewer deaths and cases per capita, with essentially the same amount of testing.

3 ( +10 / -7 )

Good to see the number down by a lot from yesterday. Having ladies advertising pcr testing at super spreader locations will also raise public awareness. Keep well Tokyo!

-7 ( +1 / -8 )

With the greatest of respect, the majority of people are not concerned with the situation in places that have no connection to them, like the UK.

This is Japan Today.

But broadening horizons can keep things in perspective rather than the blind panic going around needlessly.Seeing numbers related to a country that has half the population of Japan and not so different in sq meters has some bearing.

..and nobody pointed out to you that "cases" is an irrelevant piece of information?

Oh really? So why does JT give us the daily blow by blow of NEW CASES then?

-5 ( +3 / -8 )

@Zotoro

No, they do not. You need special machines to get the result of a PCR test.

You’re absolutely correct.

Some people will make up anything to attract attention to themselves on this site.

-7 ( +2 / -9 )

The other day when we had the huge number of positives (945?) with only about 2,000 tests (45% positive) not a single person questioned this. Rather than bashing the Japanese government for doing everything wrong, couldn’t this have been an editorial miss with the actual number of tests at 12,000 instead of the reported 2K? It just did not make sense that the number of positives would suddenly jump from 10-15% to 45% in one day without a red flag being raised.

Oh, and ¥9800 is economical compared to what I had to pay a private lab in Canada to get my test done in less than the 72 hours required by the Japanese government in order for permanent residents to return to Japan. Canada could not do it in less than 80 hours and I had to have four tests before the last one from the private lab was able to get the negative results back to me in time to change my flight and get on a plane to come HOME to Japan.

Saliva testing is what the government does for every PCR test conducted at the airport upon arrival here. Japan developed this and is able to get results in about one hour. This is their standard now. Isn’t it possible to think that maybe they figured something out? Or is Japan just a failure at everything they do? Wouldn’t be the first time that Japan improved on things.

-3 ( +7 / -10 )

Look at the upward trend of the infection rate, it shot up steeply this week. With no strategies in place to flatten the curve, numbers will continue to climb.

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

If you're just looking at cases of 'the novel coronavirus' then you could pretty much say 'the flu'.

That is mistaken, look at the number of cases and deaths from the flu this year so you can compare how different both diseases are.

Only severe cases and deaths are of any real significance and thankfully they are very low. Or at least it doesn't seem like the Japanese government is hiding the bodies, is it?

Of course not, that is like saying that you should only pay attention to a fire when you are surrounded by flames, number of cases indicates how well or bad the disease is being controlled and let the experts see how the health services available can deal with the predicted cases, once the services are overloaded then every hospitalization becomes a likely death. Usually people want to do something before reaching that point.

Also, the way people talk about 'a real lockdown' is like how people talk about communism - it just hasn't been done yet! Despite the fact we now have over twenty peer-reviewed studies on outcomes (not models) showing they don't work: https://thefatemperor.com/published-papers-and-data-on-lockdown-weak-efficacy-and-lockdown-huge-harms/ (use the Sci Hub site if something's paywalled)

Sorry but that list has been examined by experts and found invalid, manipulative and misleading. it completely ignores much better written reports with higher statistical and epidemiological value, but that reach the complete opposite conclusion, something that is ethically unacceptable if this were a real scientific paper. It also misrepresents the conclusions of papers (for example the Dehning or the Koch institute ones that says that lockdowns are very effective), it lists lots of unreviewed reports, that on a scientific point of view they are equivalent to someone putting a pdf on their blog because they have no validation nor review to check them for any problem or just to see if they have any scientific value, etc.

In short, this list that you present as a reference "works" only if the reader don't check or understand the papers, because if you do you would immediately see how the list is extremely useful to prove precisely the opposite of what it has been used. Did you read the papers?

Also, there is absolutely no need to recommend illegal ways to get scientific papers (which may be against the rules) since there are many legal ways to get them for free very easily.

The other day when we had the huge number of positives (945?) with only about 2,000 tests (45% positive) not a single person questioned this. Rather than bashing the Japanese government for doing everything wrong, couldn’t this have been an editorial miss with the actual number of tests at 12,000 instead of the reported 2K? It just did not make sense that the number of positives would suddenly jump from 10-15% to 45% in one day without a red flag being raised.

Your explanation is wrong because it assumes that Japan has a first world system of testing that works 24/7, this is not the case. Percentages of positivity jump around wildly precisely because testing is like a developing country with most of the testing facilities closing during weekends and holidays.

It makes perfect sense that one day you have 10% of positive cases from a total of 10,000 tests, but on the next you have over 30% from a total of only 2000 tests, because on the day few tests are done they include those tests that really have to be done, people being hospitalized on emergency, or with a clinical manifestation clearly indicating COVID-19, etc. People that have mild nonspecific symptoms or just were in close contact with a confirmed case (and therefore have much lower probability of being positive) will get tested on a comfortable schedule on one weekday.

3 ( +10 / -7 )

And no, you do not need anything special to break down DNA for the home PCR testing.

“You don’t need complex and expensive test kits to detect the antigens,” ... “That makes them cheaper and faster. The problem is, there is a little lag time between when someone gets infected and when the antigens show up.”

That means, if a person is not near peak infection – but is still contagious – the tests may come back negative. Depending on the quality of the antigen test and the test takers, false negatives could be as high as 20%.

“Here’s a good way to look at this,” ... “The coronavirus replicates itself by putting its genetic material inside our cells. If you’re testing that person at the stage when the virus is still replicating inside the cells, it has not produced sufficient protein or shed in large enough amounts to be detected yet by antigen testing.”

The newer antigen test kits are far superior than the ones being used even a month ago. Get with the times, study and learn and not be so hard headed. Makes one look foolish trying to be all knowing.

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

The girl in the mini skirt needs to dress correctly to weather I don’t understand why Japanese girls think showing off there legs in the winter is cool when all you’re doing is going to catch a cold/flu and spread it around on the trains

-10 ( +3 / -13 )

You need special machines to get the result of a PCR test.

No , you don’t. It’s a big business, see the price in the sample photo above. They can simply cash in millions and give out the ‘results’ randomly within the plausible value range for sensitivity and specificity. In a worst case it is only a fake call center with printers... As a normal customer you cannot check if they really have those expensive devices, the high number of necessary educated staff and really need many hours for the work. That testing and the numbers are by far not as waterproof as they should be for a real picture. Or are all those companies and laboratories visited and checked? I believe ‘everything’, but not this....lol

-5 ( +2 / -7 )

Only 88 severe cases? Oh, the US and UK would die for Japan's numbers.

For now maybe.

6 ( +10 / -4 )

The government is doing a great job. Can't wait til go to is reinstated

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

@Sven: Perfect and correct

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

wow! i am very happy to see a steady decline in positive rate. we have started VERY strong in 2021. i am relieved.

-8 ( +3 / -11 )

Big money to be made businesses will take every opportunity and not let a crisis go to waste by handing out PCR tests. Those test could be a scam if not authorized by the WHO

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

re: Tōkyō.... maybe the relatively low numbers are because every man and his dog is down here on the Bōsō for the holidays, acting as though Covid doesn't exist..... I'm expecting our first cases here in a couple of weeks' time.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

And no, you do not need anything special to break down DNA for the home PCR testing.

A virus doesn't even have DNA.... I just leave it at that to let others judge the validity of your statements.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

The cells infected by the various forms of the ...RNA are what creates the issues with DNA and infection.

here is a simple file on the various RNA replications etc. if you cannot understand it, study harder.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/RNA

0 ( +0 / -0 )

jiji Xx Jan. 2   07:19 am JST

Posted in: Tokyo reports 783 new coronavirus cases; nationwide tally 3,247  See in context

re: Tōkyō.... maybe the relatively low numbers are because every man and his dog is down here on the Bōsō for the holidays, acting as though Covid doesn't exist..... I'm expecting our first cases here in a couple of weeks' time.

....first case showed up on the 12th or 13th.... as of the 18th, 8 cases..... still, we had a very good run till now....

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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