Japan's virus testing policy causes dilemmas in self-isolation


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More and more people who are actually testing positive have no idea how they contracted the virus, and this is a direct link to a lack of testing. There is no way to track it!

25 ( +26 / -1 )

In any situation and environment such as this, it is our personal responsibility for our own well being.

If one decided to abide by the recommendation of the leader or not , that choice was there and one must take responsibility for that choice. If such choice harmed himself or others, then he/she must bear that burden and face the consequences. Such choice made may be selfish or unselfish, greedy and self-serving or not.

I find all this complaining and finger pointing at others to be useless and meaningless unless as in some countries certain actions were actually "forced" upon the people and "enforced" by policing powers, physically. Then, they may have some justification to complain. But, just as one does not want to be controlled by others, others may have the same idea.

Governments are not there to spoon feed all the right answers and provide everyone a comfortable livelihood of their choice. That is unless of course it s under a totalitarian form such as a kingdom. Even then, not all can be satisfied because no one entity can reach out to please every need and want of every single person justly or equally. There is a limit to supply when faced with demand.

-19 ( +0 / -19 )

This is one of the major issues for Japan right now - the tiny amount of testing they are doing. It of course means the number of live cases in the country is much higher than reported. People who have the virus, but whose symptoms are mild, are still travelling on trains, going to work, drinking with the boys after work, and spreading the virus. Arama....

17 ( +18 / -1 )

This is outrageous at this point.

If we are ever going to get out of these lockdowns, we’ll need widespread testing, but these jackass idiots are still refusing to do so in obvious cases like this where it is absolutely necessary because they are still following guidelines developed months ago.

In any situation and environment such as this, it is our personal responsibility for our own well being.

Governments are not there to spoon feed all the right answers and provide everyone a comfortable livelihood of their choice. 

So, what? Every man for himself? Can’t even rely on the government to organize testing in a pandemic? How is that philosophy going to get us out of this without a massive death toll?

12 ( +14 / -2 )

In early April, a hotel in the southwestern city of Miyazaki closed for two weeks after discovering that one of its guests tested positive for the virus.

This hotel can still continue to run by accommodating infected guests for self-isolation.

-3 ( +4 / -7 )

If we knew the true number of infected, including the so-called "silent spreaders" and we put that number in the denominator when calculating the fatality rate, we'd see that it is quite small.

That goes contrary with the rest of the evidence, if the fatality rate was smaller than influenza, how would you explain the huge differences in hospitalization and fatality numbers? you would need to have several times the population infected in order to fit the reality of the situation, and this is with very heavy measures to decrease the transmission rates. Do you believe people are just using a much higher number of ICU beds and ventilators just by coincidence?

5 ( +6 / -1 )

One of the first cases in Nagasaki resulted from a lack of guidance. A college student doing his job hunt in Kansai started to feel sick. After staying several days in the hotel, he decided it would be better to come all the way back home....

Meaning he decided to get on a train, go to Kansai airport, go through Fukuoka or Nagasaki airport, and take public transportation back to his apartment.

Someone with authority in the government really needs to step up here. Who knows how many people are infected and spreading the infection if you refuse to test them, or even tell them what to do?

10 ( +10 / -0 )

If Japan had tested everyone they would probably find;

Infections to be in the millions, with 80% asymptomatic or having symptoms easily confused with the common cold. This will progress until which point herd immunity or a vaccine is reached/found.

Many people testing negative, who did in fact, have similar symptoms but have another strain of coronavirus.

The same number of serious cases as now, as it has not been reported, or has not become manifest that people are being turned away. This would account for the people who have suffered the rough end of the flu but not become critical, i.e self isolated, felt very ill, but not needing hospital treatment.

Possibly more deaths depending on how deaths are reported. If Coronavirus being present at the time of death is a cause then the figures would be much higher, but not truly accurate. For those with compromised immune system the common flu poses a similar level of threat, as borne out by annual statistics.

Allowed to spread freely this would mean an unprepared system becomes somewhat overwhelmed. The field hospitals in the USA however, are empty. Since the vulnerable are by and large identifiable, there is no need to stop society as we know it. The focus should be on identifying and protecting the vulnerable, which although not an exact science, would allow society to operate relatively normally, allowing the vast majority, whose immune system will swat this virus aside to continue life, and avoid the millions of deaths, and increased control of the population the elite dream of, which we are now being softened up to accept.

-6 ( +1 / -7 )

As to testing, which this article was initially centered upon, is a matter of priority and perspective.

Obviously the government has a responsibility and need to protect all its citizens. It also has more than one area to consider when "to protect" is considered, and it is not just the virus. It has to consider the resources and the ability to meet the needs in all areas including international issues such as the availability of medical supplies to security, possible using military action.

Testing for data to determine the death rate or the transmission rate is only meaningful if everyone both contracted as well as who are immune be tested. That is almost impossible at a national scale, as there is no test yet available for those who may have antibodies to determine immunity.

However there is enough evidence not so much by statistical testing data but by the actual results of actions taken by countries world wide now and in the past pandemics, that social distancing and isolation of those already contracted does reduce the transmission rate. Therefore, it made sense to concentrate on that aspect first. That is something usually very difficult to do in a small tight knit society like Japan.

Howeve, because the Japanese people as with the Taiwanese are more "conforming" than many other societies (historically based upon the many natural disasters that required social cooperation and conformity), the social distancing and partial closing of businesses have worked out to be fairly efficient. Add to that the medical system is much more systematized and organized (although in some areas are with too much centralized control) and with mostly modern equipment, the government can rely on their ability to meet the demand provided they have the medical supplies and "limit" the number of critically ill patients.

As stated earlier if there was a need to get the exact scientifically meaningful death rates and transmission rates, almost everyone must be tested. That can be done when much more efficient testing is available. Now is a time to control and "prevent" the "transmission" and "treat" the ill, not worry about the rates or who may or may not have it. If one has it then find the best way to "treat" it and prevent death.

-13 ( +0 / -13 )

Sorry to harp on, test, trace/track and isolate.

Without a vaccine, options are limited, the obvious consequences are inevitable, the pandemic will take hold, I don't think I need to draw you a picture presenting the outcome.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

For some reason, the Japanese government wants this to magically go away and don't want to know how many people have it.....Kind of like head in the sand mentality ......Looks like people here today are out as normal" La..La...De....Da

9 ( +9 / -0 )

The third area inferred in this article is the impact of self-isolation and social distancing physically, mentally, emotionally and economically. It also implies that all of this is due to the government's action intended and designed to "protect" the entire population. That aspect is very difficult for anyone to address fully as every person's situation and conditions are different. However, it was good that this aspect of how the need to isolate has affected them was brought to light. There are areas that on the national scale very difficult to fully address except probably the economic area where financial assistance fairly and somewhat equitably (not necessarily equally) does make sense within the limits of the ability of the government.

And, as I read many of your opinions, I respect you for taking the time to do much research to give different perspectives to the situation at hand.

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

Even if he had 4 days of fever he won’t be tested. He would need to have severe pneumonia requiring hospitalization to even be considered a candidate for testing. Testing is then further restricted by Japanese governments daily quota on how much they want to test to suppress reported numbers.

Japan is going go fake this years mhlw death statistic for sure to make government look good.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

'As to testing, which this article was initially centered upon, is a matter of priority and perspective.'

Yes, the priority should be to test as much as possible with the intention to reveal the enemy (Civid19 infection rates.

The perspective is you can't fight what you can't see. Countries that understood this and conducted rigorous testing early, have controlled and been able to monitor the spread and are now beginning to navigate a path out of lock down.

Japan's Government continues to flail in the dark unwilling to short term measures and preferring the long road of hoping for Herd Immunity.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

To be quite hones, I am also worried about those who show COVID 19 symptoms but do not go to hospitals etc. out of fear they might loose their job or experience other repercussions.

More testing should be done. Don't wait until it's too late!

9 ( +9 / -0 )

Japan’s suppression of testing leaves us with no hope until end of 2021 for a potential vaccine.

However, treatment data could come as early as next month. But with Japan government severely suppressing access to testing, even with a successful treatment, most people would have no access so most people won’t be able to be tested to receive the diagnosis to receive the treatment.

Japan’s refusal for testing once a treatment is out is essentially denying people of available treatments and is pretty much the same as murder of its own citizens, many of whom voted for LDP... and will continue to vote LDP

7 ( +7 / -0 )

I am fairly certain I had it. However, my fever wasn't a constant 37.5+. It fluctuated daily for about a week between 37.4-37.8 and I had nearly every symptom. However, I wouldn't be referred for a test because of the fever.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

New Zealand with 4 million population has already tested more than 74,000 of its people. Japan has just passed 100,000. Why not asking South Korea to help Japan out? They must have test kits available.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Testing will need to ramp up nation wide after GW when people from Tokyo and Osaka spread the virus out to their families, especially grandparents, in every far corner of the country ensuring even a deeper spread of the virus than there is now. Meanwhile when will Japan realise that limiting testing, keeping official numbers low does NOT stop the spread. It only compounds the problem.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

Don't Buy Into The Panic!

-10 ( +2 / -12 )


Sorry to harp on, test, trace/track and isolate.Sorry to harp on, test, trace/track and isolate.

Without a vaccine, options are limited, the obvious consequences are inevitable, the pandemic will take hold, I don't think I need to draw you a picture presenting the outcome.


-7 ( +2 / -9 )

New Zealand with 4 million population has already tested more than 74,000 of its people. Japan has just passed 100,000. Why not asking South Korea to help Japan out? They must have test kits available.

Japan have both the capability and test kits. That’s not the problem.

The problem is that the government wants to look good and hide the numbers so they suppress testing by denying most people’s and doctor’s requests for testing. So everyday the government can praise themselves on media on what a good job they are doing and “sugoi-zo nippon”. Currently ALL tests in Japan must be approved by government health office, handled by government bureaucrats rather than health professionals, before being allowed to test.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Japan government needs to look at other countries how to flatten the curve, like South Korea. Test, test, test!

JP government's thinking is my way is the best.


5 ( +6 / -1 )

Panic is merely a word - verb, YeahRight, perhaps you are referring to irrational hysterics?

The suffering and anguish for the families of bereaved might not contend with your logic or philosophy.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Japan doesn't have a virus testing policy, it has a policy of denying testing.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

With a testing rate of 798 tests per million people, Japan is in close to last place when it comes to testing for COVID-19. Albania, Columbia, Peru, Vietnam, Ecuador, and Ukraine are reportedly all testing at higher rates than Japan. No other G7 countries tests at a lower rate than Japan. Japan currently ranks 64th out of 84 countries when it comes to testing. We are still ahead of Bangladesh, Nigeria, and North Korea though.

6 ( +7 / -1 )


You will note that a proactive approach, as is the case in Germany has seen very low rates of transmission and thus infection there.

With Japan nobody knows!

In fact, all it needs in Germany , to be tested is just to turn up to hospital-very different in Japan.

At the best of times Japanese medics react to health problems, the paradigm of preventing health problems through education and incentives (as in the UK) is basically non existent.

The antibody test has already been developed by a university in Miami and is available in the US for 17 dollars.

Japan is well behind...

5 ( +5 / -0 )

What self isolation have not noticed this yet.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Testing, testing and more testing.

But the Prime Minister said it was a waste of resources. Callous disregard for the population.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

"If you receive confirmation you've been infected, expenses for your stay at hospitals and hotels (designated for patients) are paid for from the public coffers. But as long as I'm not allowed to be tested, I'm forced to be burdened financially and emotionally. It's illogical,"

And yet another, quit logical, actually, reason why the government wants to hide the numbers through not testing -- same as they did with the Olympics. They don't test, they pay less. Plain and simple. If the government had adequate testing in place -- and it's a truly sad fact they are even more abysmal than in the US! -- they could have started working long ago on mitigation efforts instead of SUDDENLY, despite knowing MONTHS ago about this, asking for masks from other countries, for rain jackets from average citizens, and saying the health care industry is on the verge of collapse when the virus has only just begun to be acknowledged here.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Abe is just trying to save Japans reputation and the Olympics- but without widespread testing he can kiss the 2021 Olympics goodby. Everybody in Japan should be tested now, and again later...

3 ( +3 / -0 )

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