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Japan to adopt selective, rather than blanket, approach in coronavirus tests

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By Kaori Kaneko and Leika Kihara

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It's therefore important to ensure that those with higher risks (of being infected) or deemed by doctors as in immediate need can get tested,"

In other words, they are not changing anything at all. They will continue to require you on your deathbed and your first born in order for you to get tested.

42 ( +47 / -5 )

Even if someone initially tests negative, the person could return a positive test days later depending on his or her behavior during that period

This is exactly what I already said many times before. You get tested negative, but 1 minute later you can get infected. In the hospital by the doctor or nurse, in the elevator, on the stairs, in the train on your way back home, in the conbini...

And the test you just took 5 minutes ago lost all his sense!

10 ( +17 / -7 )

But actual tests being conducted is currently about 10,000 cases at the most, which Nishimura said was due to a sharp decline in the number of new infections.

Maybe the sharp decline was because of the reduced amount testing....just saying

22 ( +30 / -8 )

Testing priority is put on "at-risk" groups of people such as front line healthcare professionals, very old, or those with pre-exising health problems. People with clear symptoms are also to be fast-tracked to testing (I think this is a reforming area for Japan).

Meanwhile, people without symptoms don't have to take a test. I oppose to a compulsory program to asymptomatic cases. The WHO notes that the risk of transmission from a person without symptoms is very minimal.

Asymptomatic spread of coronavirus is ‘very rare,’ WHO says

https://www.cnbc.com/2020/06/08/asymptomatic-coronavirus-patients-arent-spreading-new-infections-who-says.html

Besides, a false test result (negative) could cause a spike. An empirical case;

34人院内感染の原因は“偽陰性”か 収束後初めて取材に応じた副院長「PCR検査を過信しすぎてはいけない」

https://news.yahoo.co.jp/articles/97406ad6b16938cf598805e846c9dc3d45253cf8

-11 ( +3 / -14 )

Japan has a daily maximum testing capacity of more than 27,000 cases. But actual tests being conducted is currently about 10,000 cases at the most

According to the data on the TokyoKeizai Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) Situation Report in Japan site, since Feb 17, more than 10,000 people have been tested on one day exactly once, on May 7. More than 8,000 people have been tested on only 4 occasions. From Feb 17 through June 7, the daily average number of people tested is 2,357.

25 ( +27 / -2 )

Monty - But surely that applies to everyone in the entire world ? Anyone could test negative and catch is 10mins later on the train, supermarket etc. This hasn’t stopped mass testing in the US, the UK, Korea etc.

23 ( +23 / -0 )

Sorry, what has changed?

28 ( +28 / -0 )

I recently learned of a young Japanese person who suddenly developed a high fever, body aches, etc.

When she went to the hospital to check it out, the doctor did not administer the test for the corona virus, but instead pronounced that she had the "summer flu."

So now it is apparent how Japan has a 'low' number of corona infections.

33 ( +35 / -2 )

Even if someone initially tests negative, the person could return a positive test days later depending on his or her behavior during that period

No, it does not depends on the behavior, someone recently infected would be negative on the test for a couple of days and then become positive, even if he was completely isolated during that period.

That is part of the assumptions made for the tests, that the person at that point is likely not infected and very likely not to transmit the disease but if exposed or symptomatic still needs to be isolated for a while to be sure. The importance of the test is that if it is positive it means his own recent contacts have been also exposed and need to be tested.

Meanwhile, people without symptoms don't have to take a test. I oppose to a compulsory program to asymptomatic cases. The WHO notes that the risk of transmission from a person without symptoms is very minimal

Testing is not only done to directly prevent contagions from the tested person, but also to trace and contain unidentified transmission. If all or most cases have a clear route identified the value of testing decreases importantly, but if half of the cases come out of nowhere like now, it definitely has to be done, because it allows to identify and isolate contacts that can become symptomatic soon.

Also, since nobody has a reliable crystal ball to know the future, nobody can know if the person is an asymptomatic case (not very likely to spread the disease) or a pre-symptomatic case (extremely likely to spread the disease before presenting symptoms) so testing is still very useful to opportunely identify the contacts.

https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/eid/article/26/8/20-1142_article

Besides, a false test result (negative) could cause a spike. An empirical case;

Badly conducted testing is no excuse for stopping properly conducted testing. Any professional should know that a negative test says absolutely nothing about the future situation, specially for an infectious diseases with days of incubation, and that clarification should be repeated for every person being tested. If exposed or symptomatic, isolate as if infected until the possibility is ruled out (obviously not with a single test). If the person is not know to be exposed and have no symptoms then a false negative result is not going to change the outcome because the person has no reason to isolate on the first place

8 ( +12 / -4 )

And by test no evil see no evil they will have the main clusters in hospitals. As has happened all over the country.

18 ( +19 / -1 )

They will continue to require you on your deathbed

Not at all. Its says "the vulnerable and those most at risk" which apparently means:

-You can get tested if you are a host or hostess (reported here yesterday).

-You can get get tested if you want to travel for business abroad (reported here last week).

-You can get tested if you are a foreigner somehow arriving into Haneda right now even though foreigners are supposedly banned (not reported here but its on NHK and elsewhere)

-And you can get a convenient monthly test if you are a pro baseball player (reported here just today.)

Makes me wonder though, of the few tests they actually have done, how many have been on the same people? Certainly anyone who had the virus once has been tested again to confirm its gone (and maybe even more than that) and health workers and Abe's cronies have all been tested multiple times, and with baseball players now getting monthly tests, each of them will rack up several a piece... so all this makes the "total number of tests" actually far far lower than the total number of people tested.

11 ( +11 / -0 )

@moonbloom

haha! Why am I not surprised? I wonder how many cases of the “summer flu” and “spring flu” have occurred this year

11 ( +12 / -1 )

Once again I'll state it, thanks for coming in and being the adult in the room virusrex.

Too many people think they are qualified to glean meaning from scientific reporting, and are most of the time making incorrect and unsupported conclusions, while speaking with the confidence of one who knows what they're talking about.

It's the Dunning Krueger effect exemplified.

Having someone who actually knows what they're talking about come in, and clearly know what they're talking about, helps clear up some of the uncertainty. At least, it leaves open actual uncertainty, rather than the uncertainty from the "fog of war" as it were.

-9 ( +5 / -14 )

Well, no news is...no news. I guess.

I remain highly critical of Japan's head in the sand approach. My partners company has the staff receive payment while they remain closed, they won't re-open until they deem the situation safe. They can't do that as long as the numbers are being manipulated and hidden.

So we just continue down the long path of not really knowing anything.

16 ( +19 / -3 )

Japan is doing much better than europe or us. They should keep doing what their doing.

The same comments everyday on not enough testing, blah blah blah.

Fact

Japan 919 deaths

France 29,000 deaths

America 113,000 deaths

-20 ( +5 / -25 )

Of course Japan is well behind in the number of tests. Aside from strict screening, Japan is well behind also in the number of possibly infected.

-1 ( +5 / -6 )

This government is super sad, it's a tragic scene.

The numbers start to go back up, so what happens? Back to "selective testing". It's very disappointing that our taxes pay for a bozo like Nishimura to be in-charge of this response.

All he has to do is look out the window at how well blanket testing has worked for other countries, stop reinventing the wheel and cowardly hiding the truth before he properly bombs out the economy.

6 ( +11 / -5 )

"I don't side with the view that everyone should take PCR tests regardless of their conditions. The key is to what extent we conduct these tests, which we're debating now."

That's funny? I don't know why not.

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

Nishimura is the Economic Revitalization minister and as this article states, oversees Coronavirus policies. Kato, the health minister has a background in eoncomics and not in public health or medicine. Why aren't the medical professionals leading the way on this policy? I've seen many talk shows on TV and critics and medical experts have spoken up about the severe lack of testing and how important it is. This is just another ploy by Abe to appease. The economy is the most important thing for him but, he won't have an economy with a pile of corpses lying in the corner. If he really is thinking about the economy he had better put together a financial package that will support SMEs which incidentally make up 80% of Japan's economy. Another half arsed attempt by the mask maker. Oh, BTW, demographically they want to target the vulnerable and the high risk so that would mean the elderly so that's roughly 30% of the population, many who live in rural areas. Good luck Nishimura, let's see you pull this logistical feat off, hopefully better than the masks.

10 ( +11 / -1 )

Japan has a daily maximum testing capacity of more than 27,000 cases. But actual tests being conducted is currently about 10,000 cases at the most, which Nishimura said was due to a sharp decline in the number of new infections.

When the number of new cases were at its highest in mid April, Japan still only tested around 8000 people. Nobody is asking the finance ministry to test everyone in the country. Since 90% of incoming telephone inquiries are being denied by someone who is not a medical professional, that's a place to start? If someone with symptoms needs testing, test them?

Also, why is it not the health minister who is in charge of this? Incompetence?

13 ( +13 / -0 )

The government is in a tough spot. Blanket testing is what they need to do, but if they do it, you'd have the whole country rushing to get tested just because it's available.

Antibody tests on the other hand, if they restrict those, they're just plain stoopid.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

The Japanese Government just loves to debate everything to death. Including... ya know!

4 ( +5 / -1 )

"Japan to adopt selective, rather than blanket, approach in coronavirus tests".

What is it preventing Japan for blanket test ? Japan isn't a poor country, where does the money go ?

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Japan pretty much does anything to justify saving money

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Maybe narrow the immediate testing to those who are currently commuting to work. They are exposed. Those who are staying locked down will not be as vulnerable.

also test those who like going out to socialize and eat. You remove your mask when you eat and you are less than 6 feet apart unless you live with the person you are eating with. But friends from work and friends in social settings must be tested.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Back to work everybody!

No more excuses!

Nice job, Japan government.

-2 ( +6 / -8 )

"Japan will stop short of offering blanket coronavirus tests"

You, stop short of ever starting.

"Japan is doing much better than europe or us."

Yes, at not testing, and lying to the public. The numbers you gave on deaths, how do they correlate with testing numbers, because Japan is doing a mere 0.01% or so of what others are. And lest we forget, a whole lot of "pneumonia" or other deaths of people that have already been rushed through cremation were very likely Covid-19 (proof of that is that 11 that were tested after much pressure turned out to be positive, but COD had been labelled as something else).

8 ( +11 / -3 )

Can't believe people are still on about this. Rioters and protestors have proven in the US that the whole quarantine and social distancing regime was a very expensive, economy-crashing farce. Enough already.

-9 ( +2 / -11 )

This article discusses the situation.

Although some details are hazy when translated into English, the basic ideas put forth are clear enough.

https://note.com/nihon_koutei/n/n85433dce32d9

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Wow, they are testing less due to the numbers declining, really????? Areas of Canada where there have been no cases for sometime they are still testing. New Zealand, who has a zero rate at this time is still testing and other countries that show a zero number continue to test. You do not slow down your testing, however, just the opposite and so the virus can be eradicated.

Do these politicians not consolidate doctors and medical health specialists as there is no one out there in this field who would say do less testing even if the numbers are down.

Ignorance has no place with this virus.

11 ( +12 / -1 )

According to the Japan Covid-19 Tracker there has been only 318,848 tests done to date. Daily they update how many tests have been done and how many people have contacted the virus.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

This seems like a pretty dumb approach. Those who are not considered vulnerable can still carry the virus with no symptoms and pass it in to those who are vulnerable.

8 ( +9 / -1 )

And lest we forget, a whole lot of "pneumonia" or other deaths of people that have already been rushed through cremation were very likely Covid-19 (proof of that is that 11 that were tested after much pressure turned out to be positive, but COD had been labelled as something else).

Yes,that's the thing, In most of the countries high majority of the dead also had other medical conditions, but since they also had Covid-19, the COD was labelled as Covid-19, here it is the exact opposite, any other medical condition is labelled as COD.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Those who have it are not tested. Those who don’t have it are not tested. So, in a way, the testing is 100 percent.... sort of....

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Social experiment try to get tested here.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Last week, my friend and mother in Australia were able to get tested within an hour of asking because they had cold or flu symptoms. The whole process took less than another hour. And they paid nothing.

I don't understand why Japan can't just test people showing symptoms. They don't have to test everybody. It's impossible to track the spread of the virus and predict potential clusters if they don't test.

The only lucky thing is that it seems Japan has a weaker strain which doesn't kill people as easily.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

…….WTH.....so Japan has once again decided to continue to do things the WRONG way....idiots all round!!

As I have been saying the ONLY way we MIGHT be able to make some sense of this is to see the number of deaths for 2020 & see how they measure up with past recent years data......that is IF we ever get to see that data, my guess is if 2020 does spike the data will never be seen by us mere mortals!!

> Fact Japan 919 deaths

Carpslidy, with NO REAL testing to date it is impossible for Japan to even have a rough idea of how many deaths are covid related!!!

6 ( +7 / -1 )

@commanteer. Sorry bro, over 100,000 dead in the U.S and still counting is not a farce.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

The number of tests even before the screening guidelines were relaxed proved to be adequate.

The govt will not conduct large scale testing unless they deem it necessary so as to not waste resources.

Limiting the number of testing could have actually helped in containing the spread of the virus.

It certainly helped in preventing the healthcare system from getting overwhelmed.

-6 ( +2 / -8 )

I@n, sorry mate there is NO possible way your or the govt could know any of that BECAUSE of inadequate testing!!

You do realie I hope that people who have the virus but no symptoms PASS the virus onto others, many of us could very well be doing just THAT!!!

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Japan for the most part do not do autopsies, and so, there could be many right now dying from this virus but if they have not been diagnosed with the virus they go uncounted. Do not be fooled by the numbers of deaths by a friend who works in the Japanese government has stated the number of deaths from this virus are higher just not counted.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

Im assuming all deaths with covid19 symptoms but weren't tested were due to covid19.

Even so, there aren't that many.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

@GW

As I mentioned above, they seem to be adequate.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

The only effective testing is mass testing. Piecemeal testing doesn’t work, around 40% of those with the virus are asymptomatic.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Ashley ShibaToday 01:19 pm JST

Japan for the most part do not do autopsies, and so, there could be many right now dying from this virus but if they have not been diagnosed with the virus they go uncounted. Do not be fooled by the numbers of deaths by a friend who works in the Japanese government has stated the number of deaths from this virus are higher just not counted.

Not this stupidity again.

Numbers can't be hidden being tied to various other numbers.

If there was a spike in deaths within Japan then mortuaries and cremation facilities would have been overridden as well. Life insurance companies would have also announced a spike in policies that had been claimed.

A spike in deaths cannot be hidden within a capitalist nation like Japan.

-4 ( +3 / -7 )

but yesterday Koike said she wanted entertainment (read sex biz) workers to be tested promptly

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Thelonius

Blanket testing is what they need to do, but if they do it, you'd have the whole country rushing to get tested just because it's available.

Sorry, the whole country will not rush to get tested as you think, on the contrary, most won't for fear of not being discriminated or losing their jobs especially in the case of part timers and temp workers, Except you are famous person, baseball player the general public views any person who gets infected the persons fault for getting infected if medical personel and their families get discriminated how about the nirmal person.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

""Even if someone initially tests negative, the person could return a positive test days later depending on his or her behavior during that period. Ideally, Japan would test the entire population all at once and isolate those who are positive, though that would be "impossible realistically," he said."

Meanwhile, in Korea:

"The Blue House announced on 28 February the current status of coronavirus tests in Korea, comparing the testing situation in the United States and Japan. The number of inspections was 26 and 120 times higher than in those countries respectively as of 28 Feb. The cumulative number of inspections was about 53,000 by South Korea, while Japan was about 2,000, and in US about 440 cases were examined."

(Source: - https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/COVID-19_pandemic_in_South_Korea )

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Triring

If there was a spike in deaths within Japan then mortuaries and cremation facilities would have been overridden as well.

How do you know there wasn't an increase in deaths, do you happen to live near a crematorium or mortuary and monitoring the activities there or maybe all mortuaries and crematoria are reporting to you.

Life insurance companies would have also announced a spike in policies that had been claimed.

You can't just assume.

Can you help us with insurance claims data for the past 4 months and corresponding period last year who died of illness.

A spike in deaths cannot be hidden within a capitalist nation like Japan.

Ridiculous, what has capitalism got to do with transparency.? Are you implying only non capitalist countries fake data ? Kobelco, nissan, mitsubishi, takata and a whole alot of companies faked data, I guess they are in a non capitalist country.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

You don't need to see the actual claim data, it will all be encompassed quarterly financial statements required to be announced by the Tokyo stock exchange.

There should also be a spike in cemetery lots which would have been noted and reported as well.

That is how relation of numbers works. You can't hide them since they are all interconnected especially if there was a spike of death in the tens of thousands.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

@commanteer. Sorry bro, over 100,000 dead in the U.S and still counting is not a farce.

Sorry, but that number is meaningless without context. Just a way to scare and control people. Seems to work well for that.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

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