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Tokyo reports 161 new coronavirus cases

51 Comments

The Tokyo Metropolitan Government on Monday reported 161 new coronavirus cases in the capital. The figure was 99 less than Sunday’s 260 cases and the first time since Aug 11 that it has dropped below 200.

Of the 161 cases, 80 are in the 20s and 30s. Health officials said the number of serious cases requiring hospitalization was 27.

Monday's tally brings Tokyo’s cumulative total to 17,875.

Nationwide, there were 627 new cases. Osaka Prefecture had 71 cases, Kanagawa 51, Fukuoka 50, Aichi 43, Okinawa 38 and Chiba Prefecture 32.

Eight deaths were reported.

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51 Comments
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Surprisingly low number. Are we out of the woods?

-16 ( +5 / -21 )

There articles are basically useless without the reporting of number of tests and positive test rate. How longer will these updates continue like that? It’s astonishing.

15 ( +22 / -7 )

Perhaps the heat is really taking the sting out of the tail of COVID-19? Yes these are figures from the weekend, but the virus really does seem to be weakening.

Will be interesting to see the figures for recoveries, these have exceeded new cases in recent days.

These figures won't please all the doom and gloom merchants though!

-9 ( +9 / -18 )

No comment from my side

-10 ( +10 / -20 )

@Akula

i think you are mistaking that these are not “doom-merchants”, but worried people who rightfully understand that the numbers are not meaningful enough without other data, and obviously want the truth about the Covid spread in Japan rather than what we are given. I am such a person and I hope you don’t believe I wish death and doom upon this country.

10 ( +15 / -5 )

Well said Monty. The low number speaks for itself. Time to get ready for the Olympics.

-18 ( +6 / -24 )

No comment from my side

It’s a comment

9 ( +13 / -4 )

There articles are basically useless without the reporting of number of tests and positive test rate.

Yeah, and it would also be good to know the rate of false positives.

-7 ( +4 / -11 )

Japan killing it off. Well done everyone.

-15 ( +4 / -19 )

@Raw Beer

i don’t know if you understand mathematics, but even including a fixed rate of false positives, an increase of positives would be equality meaningful. Stop spreading nonsense counter arguments.

8 ( +11 / -3 )

real numbers will be much higher, if your symptoms don't match the clinics criteria, they will charge upwards of 25,000yen for the PCR test. Many people won't choose to pay that.

10 ( +12 / -2 )

To the optimists here (or maybe they're being sarcastic), the 161 positives are from a truly pathetic 2780 tests.

6 ( +10 / -4 )

Keep decreasing testing!

Corona isnt as deadly as feared and didnt over run the health system

Keep relaxing restrictions!

-12 ( +5 / -17 )

Number of new cases is useful by itself and more so if compared historically to numbers of new cases from other days.

Of course it's useless to some.

Just like it's useless to some even if you include tons of other info

-4 ( +3 / -7 )

If your symptoms don't match covid19 symptoms then you are probably have another illness

-1 ( +5 / -6 )

Surprisingly low number. Are we out of the woods?

No, just give it a day.

0 ( +6 / -6 )

Whaaat? 161 that is good news but i beggin to question are they properly conducting tests? Good news to see it in the mid 100s.

-7 ( +2 / -9 )

it seems like most of those who speak against the cautious members have no idea of what statistics and probability, sensitivity and specificity are.

Wikipedia has a great article about the Bayes’ theorem. Start from there.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

Weekend count. . . All I say!

Wait until Wednesday or Thursday.

Numbers will be different again!

2 ( +6 / -4 )

To those interested in the testing numbers and positive rates:

Date: Positives/Tests Percent positive

8/9: 331/5237 6.3%

8/10: 197/3243 6.0%

8/11: 188/3431 5.4%

8/12: 222/1293 17.1%

8/13: 206/1699 12.1%

8/14: 389/6561 5.9%

8/15: 385/5426 7.0%

8/16: 260/5034 5.1%

8/17: 161/2780 5.7%

[Data from the metropolitan website]

10 ( +11 / -1 )

For the record, I tested positive for corona last week but have now pretty much recovered. I had a slight fever, and I lost my sense of smell and taste. But this has now subsided, and as per the advice of the health center, 10 days have gone past since my first symptoms, so I no longer need to self-quarantine.

7 ( +9 / -2 )

@Lorem ipsum just curious whats your age group?

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

@MartinAP

And don’t forget this is a huge understatement as the testing per capita in Japan one if the lowest in the world, lower than e.g. Ghana, Nepal and Rwanda.

3 ( +7 / -4 )

@Lorem ipsum just curious whats your age group?

No worries. I'm in my early 30s

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Garth

To those interested in the testing numbers and positive rates:

Date: Positives/Tests Percent positive

Thanks.

If Tokyo is still so low despite clear signs that the virus has and is spreading

in communities, I dread to think of the number of test other prefectures are

conducting. The highest number of test Osaka with a pop of 8M has performed a day is 2686.

Hyogo pref pop 5.5M highest is 1224 test

Testing is not increasing, I wonder what the plan is to contain this virus.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Lorem.

Glad to hear you are fully recovered and not having any difficulties.

So, did you undergo a PCR test and tested positive ?

1 ( +3 / -2 )

i don’t know if you understand mathematics, but even including a fixed rate of false positives, an increase of positives would be equality meaningful. Stop spreading nonsense counter arguments.

From Garth's post: 8/17: 161/2780 5.7%

What if the percentage of false positives is close to 5%, then all these results would be completely meaningless.

I believe false positives are mainly due to sloppy testing (sampling and the PCR), that is not something that will yield a fixed rate of false positives, especially with the relatively low number of testing done in Japan.

BTW, I do understand math. I was actually very good at it in school...

Anyway, I actually do think the cases are rising, but the latest 161 new cases probably represent only a small fraction of infections, most of which are asymptomatic.

The main number I look at is the covid deaths. We had on average 1 death every 2 days for most of July, and lately we've been getting 4-8 per day. This is concerning but still not all that high...

-9 ( +1 / -10 )

@Lorem ipsum can you please also share how did you catch it ?

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

5% of false positives would only be 8 different

2 ( +4 / -2 )

@Lorem ipsum was it just a PCR test or there was more ? How long did it take from the phone call to the results ?

0 ( +2 / -2 )

@Raw Beer

My apologies if i sounded harsh, but I do want to emphasise that this was my point initially; a 5% false positive rate would mean a closer to 0.3% overstatement of that 5.7%. But also don’t forget there is both a sensitivity accuracy and a specificity accuracy: there are false negatives too.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Raw Beer

The main number I look at is the covid deaths. We had on average 1 death every 2 days for most of July, and lately we've been getting 4-8 per day. This is concerning but still not all that high...

Sorry, can you provide us with any link on the number of deaths.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

@Acula

Perhaps the heat is really taking the sting out of the tail of COVID-19? Yes these are figures from the weekend, but the virus really does seem to be weakening.

The virus will not weaken until a huge amount of vaccine is sold.

Twice they were left empty-handed (bird flu, swine flu).

Third time's a charm.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Date: Positives/Tests Percent positive

8/9: 331/5237 6.3%

8/10: 197/3243 6.0%

8/11: 188/3431 5.4%

8/12: 222/1293 17.1%

8/13: 206/1699 12.1%

8/14: 389/6561 5.9%

8/15: 385/5426 7.0%

8/16: 260/5034 5.1%

8/17: 161/2780 5.7%

[Data from the metropolitan website]

@Garth - Thanks.

These numbers are extremely worrying.

After 331 tested positive on 8/9, the very next day (8/10) they reduce the number of tests by 2,000 (why?) but still find approximately the same positive rate of 6% - although the headline number is 'better' 197 positive vs 331. This is the perfect example why the number of tests is important to include in the reporting. 197 vs 331 positive, but it's effectively exactly the same situation.

The next day (8/11) they test approximately the same number, and find approximately the same positives.

The next day (8/12) they drop the number of tests by more than 50% yet the number of positives jumps to 222 (17.1%).

So on 8/13 they test just a few more, but the rate remains high. So presumably on 8/14 they decide to increase the testing to 6561, and the rate goes back to the previous norm of 6% - but we get the 'headline high' number of 389.

8/15 they do slightly fewer tests, but the overall positive rate increases to 7%. 8/16 they reduce the tests slightly again and the rate is back to 5%. 8/17 they reduce the overall tests yet again but the positive rate increases slightly to 5.7%.

This is worrying because there doesn't seem to be any logic to how they are testing. After 8/12, 13, 14, you'd expect testing to increase yet again on 8/15, but it doesn't - however the positive rate goes up. So what do they do on 8/16? They reduce the number of tests again.

They have no idea about the actual situation because the numbers are all over the place.

The one conclusion I can make from these 9 days of testing is that it seems that the numbers are being politicized in the way they are presented through the media, and the number of tests are being controlled to try and control the 'headline number' of positive tests.

I ask again, why aren't they just testing 10,000 people every day?

To properly understand the situation you have to go out and find people who are carrying the virus. If people are asymptomatic they won't present themselves to a hospital for testing - and even if they did they wouldn't get a test because of the strict guidelines of having a fever for 4 days etc. etc. These asymptomatic people will however go about their days and potentially pass the virus on to others.

It's a mess - and the 9 days of data given here prove it is.

2 ( +7 / -5 )

Maybe you should dig out more, like maybe include the number of people who were screened for the tests

0 ( +2 / -2 )

The trend is clearly down. Time to party!

-7 ( +4 / -11 )

Lorem.

Glad to hear you are fully recovered and not having any difficulties.

So, did you undergo a PCR test and tested positive ?

Thanks man. To answer your and n1k1's question, yeah I had a PCR test where they tested my saliva. The time from phone call to test results was 1.5 days, i.e. I called several clinics one morning based on the recommendation of the health center, one of them let me come in for a PCR test in the afternoon, and 24 hrs later I called in again for the result. The test was also free of charge.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

If that what Lorem Ipsum said is correct, proofs a lot of posters comments here wrong.

Many posters here said it is almost impossible to get a test. Nobody at a health center pick up the phone, people get refused for testing, if accepted they have to wait for weeks and have to pay a lot of money for the test.

But if I read Lorem Ipsum post, it sounds easy to get a test. And also for free of charge.

-6 ( +4 / -10 )

You can't really consider that as conclusive proof Monty but even before Lorem's story it doesn't seem all that impossible to me to get tested just basing on other posters' experiences here also.

But I think it was savethegaijin who was one of those who had a really difficult time, I wonder if she ever got tested

0 ( +2 / -2 )

I don't doubt Lorem's story I'm merely saying others have different experiences.

I don't doubt the others' experiences also but to me it seemed you're more likely to get tested than not if presenting covid19 symptoms

0 ( +2 / -2 )

@ ian

It seems to vary prefecture to prefecture from friends experience here in Hiroshima at least I know two people who were tested fairly quickly after having flu like symptoms(both negative). And my nephew came back positive in tokyo as being part of a cluster even though he had no symptoms.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

What if the percentage of false positives is close to 5%, then all these results would be completely meaningless.

8/9: 331 positives / 5237 tested = 6.3% positive rate

If 5% of positives were false that would make 17 of the 331 positive test results false leaving us with

314 positives of 5237 tested and a positive rate of 5.99%.

Completely meaningless?

Please feel free to correct the math if it's wrong.

BTW, the antigen test that the govt is relying on more and more, has, according to the MLHW, a lower incidence of false positives, but it also has a higher incidence of false negatives.

https://www.mhlw.go.jp/content/10900000/000631469.pdf

1 ( +4 / -3 )

5% of false positives would only be 8 different

No, if 5% of tests result in false positives, then out of the 2780 tests performed, 139 would result in false positives and only the remaining 22 cases were true positives.

I don't know what the false positive rate is. I did hear one US official say 50%, but I think she wasn't a scientist and simply "miss-spoke".

Anyway, as Martini also mentioned there are problems with the PCR test in terms of sensitivity and false negatives. So although these tests can be useful to determine who should be quarantined, the actual numbers are quite meaningless.

We should focus on the death rates and the percent hospital bed occupancy.

Sorry, can you provide us with any link on the number of deaths.

There are probably better sites, but this is where I usually go:

https://covid19japan.com/

-6 ( +0 / -6 )

BTW, the antigen test that the govt is relying on more and more, has, according to the MLHW, a lower incidence of false positives, but it also has a higher incidence of false negatives.

Yeah, the PCR test is much more sensitive but the problem is that any cross-contamination of the samples will result in false positives. This would not happen with the antigen test, but it is much less sensitive.

I think the PCR test is fine if done properly from the swabbing of the patient up to the actual PCR reaction. But I cringe every time I see these steps on TV. I just pray that those shown on TV are not the ones doing the actual tests.

I just hope they start doing routine antibody tests, as I expect many of us to already be immune to this virus.

-7 ( +1 / -8 )

If that what Lorem Ipsum said is correct, proofs a lot of posters comments here wrong.

Many posters here said it is almost impossible to get a test. Nobody at a health center pick up the phone, people get refused for testing, if accepted they have to wait for weeks and have to pay a lot of money for the test.

But if I read Lorem Ipsum post, it sounds easy to get a test. And also for free of charge.

I should mention that I too was rather surprised with how easily I was able to get tested as I've been reading the comments here a lot and was worried. But FWIW, I live in central Tokyo in a relatively big ward, and when I called the local health center to describe my symptoms, they just gave me a couple of numbers of clinics to call. There was no guarantee that I'd be able to get tested since that was entirely at the discretion of the clinics. Some of the ones I called couldn't take me because they were supposedly "fully booked for the whole week" and didn't have PCR tests, others were taking half a day to get back to me, so I ended up going with a clinic that let me come in that same day. When I told them how surprised I was that they let me come in right away, the nurse said it was because I described my symptoms on the phone, so they already had a grasp of my situation. Come to think of it, the place I went to was also not a big clinic but a very small one run by what looked like a couple. Anyway, the first test was free, but the health center said if I wanted to get tested again I'd have to pay for it myself.

Also, I know for a fact that you can get tested even without symptoms. Some of my friends got tested too, but they dropped some serious cash at private clinics so it was more anonymous. There are several private clinics that provide this as long as you're willing to pay 3 or 4 man yen for it on the spot.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

There are no antibodies again covid19, do your research. There's nothing we can do, we will all get it and some will die.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Thanks for providing more info @Lorem ipsum, certainly useful to know.

That "fully booked" situation is quite usual in my experience. I've always had difficulty getting a flu shot in one of the city I've lived in for a few years.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

@carpslidy

Also, most experiences related here about near impossibility of getting tested was from when tests and testing centers weren't widely available yet.

Plus at that time screening guidelines were really strict.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Only just over 600 new infections nationwide and over 1100 recovered people on the same day. Active cases dropping for a third straight day.

Some positive signs.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

Well, Tokyo seems to be comparatively high compared to other places in the World now... sure, no where near the Americas or UK, though when compared to AustraliAsia...

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Japan really needs to take a leaf from New Zealand's playbook on how to curb the virus, especially when both are island nations. That being said, I wish more countries out there could just do what those Kiwis did to basically kill it off from the first step to the very last step.

Reading the comments from @Lorem ipsum, I must say that there are serious causes for concern with the Japanese health system. The part about discretion to the clinics (if true) is just plain wrong when the population, especially an ageing one, would clearly benefit from getting things done at a faster pace and upon demand.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

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