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Tokyo revises contact tracing strategy, narrowing it to higher-risk cases

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Asked about concerns over scaling back efforts to trace the contacts of every person, Naomi Seki, an official at Tokyo metropolitan government's health bureau, told Reuters the new policy would help public health workers cope with the rising number of coronavirus cases.

On the other hand this will make it much more likely that the numbers keep rising.

12 ( +15 / -3 )

No matter how many times they "revise" anything COVID-19 related, the old heads in charge won't be able to get it right. It is time for Japan to have NEW, fresh minded people in charge. #RickySanchez for Prime Minister 2022!

14 ( +17 / -3 )

So the strategy is to test even less... which will undoubtedly cause infections to increase because asymptomatic people will be spreading it because they aren't tested because they're testing less... repeat loop.

But in 2 months they might do random testing to see how widespread infections are, so there's that at least.

6 ( +8 / -2 )

each public health center will focus on finding out places and groups that contain people with higher risks," 

I recommend to focus on the full packed morning trains and the full packed offices, where the japanese management still continue to refuse to send their staff into home office.

6 ( +8 / -2 )

Since infection cases began to rise in November, public health centre officials have asked to further narrow their contact-tracing efforts due to staffing shortages.

Instead of getting more staff to do contract tracing which is an important part to contain the spread, they decide to do nothing except to narrow their efforts. The current SOE may be a result of such bad decision.

9 ( +9 / -0 )

So put another way, they are saying they can no longer keep up with the pace of infections.

18 ( +19 / -1 )

MontyToday 04:08 pm JST

I recommend to focus on the full packed morning trains and the full packed offices, where the japanese management still continue to refuse to send their staff into home office.

Wow, that's a heresy to say and pretty bald opinion in Japan! Where just being in the office and filling out papers and reports and pretending to be busy gives you more reward than the actual work done.

Many companies still don't realise how much money they'd save if their employees stayed and worked at home. Pretty much everyone has some kind of internet access so it could be done. But the main "problem" is, you cannot put hanko stamp on PDF and cannot send it if you don't have fax at home.

11 ( +11 / -0 )

Revises contact tracing strategy, narrowing it to higher-risk cases

Translation from Japlish to English: "lower the number of tests so that our numbers look better"

5 ( +8 / -3 )

O.K. o.k. They've worn me down. This will be my last comment on the topic, Good luck everyone, you're all doing very well.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

This sounds like a fantastic strategy for a virus that doesn't spread from asymptomatic people, like the first SARS. Of course, Japan would not be in this situation if this were SARS, MERS, etc.

But this is the completely wrong approach for a virus that spreads from people who have no signs of infection. The rest of the world knows this, why does the Koike and Suga think they are smarter? Oh right, the Olympics...

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Many companies still don't realise how much money they'd save if their employees stayed and worked at home.

Exactly. Even my company, which allows everyone to completely work-from-home (100% of the time) has to suffer sometimes from hard-headed employees. Ironically, these hard-headed employees are the ones who don't follow health guidelines and pretend that they are more hard-working than others by going to the office.

My company had to disinfect the whole building just because of one irresponsible individual. He thinks he's worth the millions the company spent on the disinfection.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

Even my company, which allows everyone to completely work-from-home (100% of the time) has to suffer sometimes from hard-headed employees. Ironically, these hard-headed employees are the ones who don't follow health guidelines and pretend that they are more hard-working than others by going to the office.

In my company, one simple cannot go to the office. No chance for a hard-headed employee to show up.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Makes sense. The virus isn't that deadly so waste resources on chasing everyone who just has the sniffles?

There are limited resources and they have to be used widely after all

-17 ( +2 / -19 )

*wisely, not widely as obviously it's not sensible to stretch yourself so thin it doesn't make a difference where it's needed!

-13 ( +1 / -14 )

Obviously just a political stunt ..nobody will take this seriously.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Makes sense. The virus isn't that deadly so waste resources on chasing everyone who just has the sniffles?

There are limited resources and they have to be used widely after all

No, it is still nonsense, the pandemic completely depends on being controlled to have low lethality rates, giving up on control means the resources are wasted since the main purpose of the tracing is guaranteed not to be met. The real solution is to increase those resources even if only temporarily so control is again obtained, then it can be kept with a fraction of what is necessary with thousands of daily cases.

15 ( +17 / -2 )

This is just a way to suppress testing so that Tokyo can get to its 500/day "reported" cases by Feb 7th, such that Go To Travel and Go To Eats can restart.

People need to understand that in order to qualify for a free test without being in the ICU, you MUST be identified as a "close contact" by these government officials, otherwise you have to pay 30,000-40,000 for a test. "Close contact" is already very strictly defined, such that as long as you are wearing a mask and cannot definitively prove that you have spent 15+ mins without masks within 2m of a confirmed case, you are not qualified as a "close contact".

Would not surprise me that Tokyo test numbers would crash by 50% in the next week due to this new rule.

12 ( +13 / -1 )

Personally, I trust virusrex far more than the muppets leading Japan. Appreciate your scientific approach, Vrex.

11 ( +12 / -1 )

Would not surprise me that Tokyo test numbers would crash by 50% in the next week due to this new rule.

That's the goal. Even a blind can see that.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

A quick search shows that, in Tokyo, around half of all the detected cases have been infected through unknown routes. Scaling down testing is probably the worst thing that could be done right now. Where are the robots when we need them? Or how about actually preparing for the third wave? Perhaps those in charge believe that good, old-fashioned mindo was enough to deal with it?

4 ( +4 / -0 )

@Yotomaya

The government even dismissed the need for testing pretty much the whole 2020. They started testing way more than they have done before, but the numbers keep increasing. So I expect the testing to decrease.

Third wave? It'll be like second wave here. There are many countries peaking through the third wave already, it'll likely be another and another wave. Yet, Japan government is doing pretty much nothing and just watching. Yeah, testing simulations..

5 ( +5 / -0 )

This is about less testing. It is rather obvious. Close contacts are the main source of the official tests under the Japanese rules for testing as others have explained. If there are now going to be less close contacts being found, then there will be less tests. Which will result in less virus numbers to hasten the end of SOE and continue the Olympic dream.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Despite its early success, experts have warned that the country's strategy to trace clusters of cases rather than conduct mass tests could face limits as virus cases surge nationwide.

Pardon me, what success ? , which experts and are they making the plea behind close doors because the

ones I see on mainstream T.V are happy with the low numbers and echoing the normal narrative that Japan

is doing better than the usual suspects US, Europe, Brazil etc. Those that called for increased testing and

questioned the strategy employed to combat the virus in the early stages of the pandemic have all long been banished away from our view.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

I recommend to focus on the full packed morning trains 

There is a misbelief about trains, and also pachinkos.

Those places can be crowded but are not a place of infection. Why ? Simply because nobody knows each other and talk. Even if one is coughing, with a mask as it is right now, the chance is really close to zero. And trains, at least mine. have windows open now

-6 ( +1 / -7 )

Sounds like.. a free pass for asymptomatic super spreaders.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

my head hurts.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Yes, no testing combined with no tracing and no hospital treatment and no vaccinations is the only key to the lowest possible numbers ever...lol

7 ( +7 / -0 )

Those places can be crowded but are not a place of infection. Why ? Simply because nobody knows each other and talk. Even if one is coughing, with a mask as it is right now, the chance is really close to zero. And trains, at least mine. have windows open now

Unfortunately, this isn’t how science works.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Since infection cases began to rise in November, public health centre officials have asked to further narrow their contact-tracing efforts due to staffing shortages.

What happened to Suga's promise to increase health center staff by 2,000, well just like Abe's pledge to increase testing to 200,000 a day and Koike promising 65,000 a day he was just blowing hot air. Knowing fully well nobody will call him out if he renege.

Perpetual acute labor shortage, how about sending a fax to Nguyễn Phú Trọng to send some of his young boys and girls over.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

I recommend to focus on the full packed morning trains and the full packed offices, where the japanese management still continue to refuse to send their staff into home office.

Monty , you are spot on!

@didou

The windows are not always open on trains in Japan., on my part of Honshu with recent rain they are all closed..

0 ( +1 / -1 )

How is this a good idea? When there is no plan, that's the plan

1 ( +1 / -0 )

@Wobot

The resources are not being used to keep cases down are they? Why is contact tracing being downgraded?

Well, the obvious answer is that those in power do not care about me or you!

If you have Covid and cannot look after yourself then just stay at home and sweat away and drink tap water-you will get your daily call from the Hoken sho but you won’t be visited!

That is the reality...

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Not only Tokyo, Japanese authorities too much cling to "contact tracing" that is ineffective to only early stage of epidemic.

This is typical Japan that cannot change initial strategy even after many relate person felt its defects.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Number of virus test is unstable as ever in Japan, only country where is still obsessed with skepticism against PCR tests.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

@wobot

Makes sense. The virus isn't that deadly

Isn't it? I guess you are right only 2,152,332 deaths world wide not much

But that's not the only thing with Covid experts are concerned a significant proportion could be left with lung scarring, known as pulmonary fibrosis. this is actually the scary thing as this doesn't just affect the elderly but could affect anybody in any age bracket. also the condition is irreversible.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Robert Cikki

But the main "problem" is, you cannot put hanko stamp on PDF and cannot send it if you don't have fax at home.

Yes you can! I do it all the time. Digital Kanko. Just scan it in as a .PNG

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Sensible. Do the necessary to contain it to prevent hospitals being overwhelmed. On that measure, Japan has been very successful.

The idea that it can be eradicated by aggressive contact tracing and quarantine is a pipe dream wasting resources which could be better spent elsewhere.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

As for those advocating working from home, you can easily achieve that by resigning from your company and be your own boss. Health matters more than wealth. Please consider.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

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