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A chef walks past a KFC fast food chicken franchise icon Colonel Sanders statue wearing a face mask and samurai armor in Kamakura, Kanagawa Prefecture, on Sunday. The prefecture is one of eight still under a state of emergency. Photo: AP/Shuji Kajiyama
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New virus cases in Tokyo drop to 5; none reported in Osaka

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Regardless of what the lockdown loonies claim the numbers are getting better and looks like the state of emergency will be lifted soon and businesses can restart. For many its too late though.

-1 ( +37 / -38 )

Good for Japan! Not only flattening the curve, but decreasing it.

No doubt the usual naysayers will put a negative spin on it (not testing enough, government cover up, so on).

Anyhow, let's reopen the economy again.

8 ( +45 / -37 )

Very, very good news!

Thanks to the good behaviour of the japanese people, by followIng volunteer the recommended prevention.

Well done Japan!

Life is coming back!

1 ( +34 / -33 )

So martial law enforced mandatory lockdowns weren't necessary after all.

But... wait another two weeks right.

-8 ( +30 / -38 )

Wow look at all these down votes for people happy that Japan is doing alright!

I am still going to assume theres hundreds of cases in Osaka and be careful for awhile.

4 ( +26 / -22 )

How many were tested in Tokyo? 10?

5 ( +36 / -31 )

There is one important piece of information missing from this article. How many people were tested in Tokyo? A whopping 310 people were tested in Osaka. Just by comparison, over 12,000 people were tested in Sydney last week with only 8 new cases. If they are not testing thousands or even tens of thousands of people each week it is difficult to conclude the numbers are dropping.

15 ( +39 / -24 )

egardless of what the lockdown loonies claim the numbers are getting better and looks like the state of emergency will be lifted soon and businesses can restart. For many its too late though.

Sounds to me you would have preferred they stayed open, Even if it's too late, at least they are alive!

1 ( +13 / -12 )

Everyone saying this is good news, while being aware that testing has dropped considerably to achieve these low numbers, most likely believe in fairy tales. As someone already mentioned, 12000+ were tested in Sydney. Only 8 were found positive - that is good news.

17 ( +34 / -17 )

Readers, comparisons with Sydney are not relevant to this discussion.

To those of you slapping Abe’s back and doing fist bumps and high fives, don’t you think that low testing is going to yield low infections? And this is somehow something to be cheering?

3 ( +24 / -21 )

What's up with the conservative misinformation team that is so quick to respond on these posts? They seem to have multiplied in the past six months or so.

4 ( +15 / -11 )

With all the testing that is happening this is great news is it not....judging by the comments we have a happy herd..

5 ( +10 / -5 )

Japanese style rules! Every nation should copy the Japanese style. Ignore asymptomatic and less severe cases. It saves testing kits, money, medical supplies, hospital beds, and most of all, FACE.

11 ( +26 / -15 )

To those of you slapping Abe’s back and doing fist bumps and high fives, don’t you think that low testing is going to yield low infections? And this is somehow something to be cheering?

You got it! He is taking a page from his friend across the ocean who said, paraphrashing here; "The world is amazed at how much testing we do. Of course the numbers are high because we test a lot, if we didnt test, then there would be no new cases!"

The same as saying, "If we dont test for cancer, then there is no cancer!"

0 ( +16 / -16 )

For the record, 211 people were tested.

18 ( +23 / -5 )

As for Osaka, none of 310 people who took a viral test Sunday tested positive.

Question, How many of these 310 people had previously tested positive for the virus? How many are "initial" tests? How many are being tested for maybe the third or fourth time here?

Why you ask? Yesterday in Okinawa, a 60's something female tested positive for the virus AGAIN, nearly two weeks after being discharged from the hospital, for contracting the virus last month.

She was tested at least 4 times now, the initial positive test, two negative tests, prior to discharge, and now a fourth test again positive!

These numbers are meaningless without pertinent data attached!

6 ( +15 / -9 )

"But there's not enough testing," bleat the usual suspects.The Stockholm Syndrome looking good to stay with some people.

5 ( +17 / -12 )

I guess at this point there is no reliable case number unless you are South Korea or Germany. It would be difficult to fake death number however -- expect "unknown" pneumonia deaths to jump by at least 20K or 30K in 2020. Also note the 2020 death number won't be out until 2022 or so.

4 ( +9 / -5 )

I fear that news is misleading. By now, we all experienced how the media does not tell the truth. I hope all this is about over, however once bitten. I for one will wait and watch.

9 ( +14 / -5 )

Why you ask? Yesterday in Okinawa, a 60's something female tested positive for the virus AGAIN, nearly two weeks after being discharged from the hospital, for contracting the virus last month.

These is likely a false positive, with the test still picking up remnants of the virus. I know a few weeks ago South Korea said they had a couple hundred people testing positive twice, but it was later determined that they were 'weak positives' - the test was just picking up the residuals of the virus and none of them had been re-infected again.

9 ( +10 / -1 )

nonu6976Today  07:56 am JST

For the record, 211 people were tested.

These are people tested on 14 May though. I do not believe the supposedly "5 new cases" are from the same batch of tests since it takes a few days to get the results.

-6 ( +1 / -7 )

Those who still think unnecessary testing is the solution to this problem seem unhappy Japan has proven the world wrong and seem to have its approach working, it’s been 4 months since some on here predicted doomsday due to japans testing approach but we are yet to see that, I for one have been in favour of Japan’s approach since it delivers good results for Japan, no nation with a population of 10million + can test all its citizens even once a week, so definitely, a sensible testing criteria and approach that leads to good results is the most important here.

Japan is a winner here if it has to be compared to some developed countries that seem to have no control over the pandemic, good job to New Zealand, Australia, Taiwan and all those countries that have been able to get things under control, I pray other countries will learn from them and get their house in order, life must get back!

0 ( +16 / -16 )

The problem is clearly that a lot of people see everything through their political lenses only.

If I am glad that infections are dropping and deaths are low, am I “slapping Abe’s back?”

I am also not ignorant and know weekend testing is irrelevant. I am well aware of the low amount of tests they do.

8 ( +11 / -3 )

Blozen, with such a contagious virus and the percentage that will require ICU, there are other indicators that can show if infections are on the rise, it is up to every country knowing its own health system and how it’s populations behaviour and life style will or will not contribute to its rapid spread to take the required measures that will allow it to get a control over this pandemic, Japan chose its own path and has made it through, they deserve to be congratulated even if the end isn’t there yet, Preventing tens of thousands of lives from being lost is not a bad thing.” Test test test don’t wear mask cos they are useless”. Seems to have resulted in more deaths

5 ( +8 / -3 )

To those of you slapping Abe’s back and doing fist bumps and high fives, don’t you think that low testing is going to yield low infections? And this is somehow something to be cheering?

125 million people, most congested country in the world for its size with only 712 deaths, with little testing and almost no autopsies, but according to what the GOJ is saying, there aren’t any new cases....coming from the same people that told us 9 years ago that Tepco was under control as well as the spread of radiation in Fukushima was nothing to be alarmed about?

Yeah, sure....if people want to believe these people...

2 ( +18 / -16 )

In spite of the fact Japan does not test as aggressively as other countries this is good news. I am skeptical of the raw data (the sample size is not large enough) but I am not skeptical of the trend.

@Burning Bush - I am not sure if you live in Japan but Martial Law was never declared in Japan and there never have been mandatory restrictions. The Government declared a State of Emergency with recommendations and it is my opinion that citizens and residents of Japan (for the most part - not all) did a very good job of following the recommendations. I think you must be referring to some of the states in the U.S. or other countries.

I think for the very large metropolitan areas they should maintain the same state of emergency for a minimum of 1 week or until the end of the month.

Moderator - my very humble opinion is the Sydney comparison is more relevant to the "Martial Law" comment above as it is another location showing a downward trend while Martial Law was never declared in Japan.

23 ( +23 / -0 )

These are people tested on 14 May though. I do not believe the supposedly "5 new cases" are from the same batch of tests since it takes a few days to get the results.

The way I read the report is it takes 3 days to get results from tests, so the 5 positive results reported May 17 are from 211 people tested May 14. I'm not saying the 5 people are from yesterdays testing. I am happy for someone to correct me.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Number of rejected testing on the rise.

2 ( +10 / -8 )

fintoToday  08:34 am JST

Blozen, with such a contagious virus and the percentage that will require ICU, there are other indicators that can show if infections are on the rise, it is up to every country knowing its own health system and how it’s populations behaviour and life style will or will not contribute to its rapid spread to take the required measures that will allow it to get a control over this pandemic, Japan chose its own path and has made it through, they deserve to be congratulated even if the end isn’t there yet, Preventing tens of thousands of lives from being lost is not a bad thing.” Test test test don’t wear mask cos they are useless”. Seems to have resulted in more deaths

Not sure what you are telling me this.

Most of the people here are just saying that testing 100-200 people max a day in a city of 14 millions people is probably is probably not going to give a representative/transparent view of the situation, which I think is understandable. I am not supporting people who are bashing Japan, but also have absolutely no reason to congratulate how this situation has been handled.

2 ( +7 / -5 )

Is great things are getting back to normal. This whole situation has been very difficult for a lot of people. Especially bar and restaurant owners /staff. I'll just say one thing though, I am very glad my vulnerable loved ones dont live in Japan.

-2 ( +6 / -8 )

Obviously I’m no English teach but.... “was reported”

In another metropolitan area of Osaka Prefecture, no new case of infection was reported Sunday for the first time since March 9, the prefectural government said.

were?

1 ( +4 / -3 )

How many where tested?

5 ( +9 / -4 )

The virus cannot be completely wiped out, so the goal now should be to simply prevent the health care system from being overwhelmed. We have achieved that, we have achieved much more than a flattened curve, so no need for unnecessary testing.

Open everything up already!

0 ( +7 / -7 )

Darned "bass",

fully agree. Good if the COVID 19 infection cases get less, good if the number of those who pass away decreases ..... but as you said: people seem to forget what we were told (not only but also) about Fukushima. Those numbers now are due to little to no testing and infections pop up even more in our area. First it was for the Tokyo Olympics, now it's for the economy, the government saving face and maybe even for the purpose of less (financial) support for those who need it.

Again, if it becomes better than a couple of weeks ago, GREAT. But there is this "IF"

0 ( +6 / -6 )

i love how self-righteous the pro-testing people are. the number of infections is just one of many metrics regional governments are using, and all are trending down greatly (e.g. # of hospitalizations, # of available beds, # of consultations for possible infections, etc.). face it, things are looking up. wouldn't you rather have a glass half full then half empty?

-1 ( +10 / -11 )

For the record, 211 people were tested.

That figure is actually number of people tested on Friday 14/5. Tokyo metro gov. website hasnt been updated with Sunday numbers yet. Will be lower number than Friday.

6 ( +8 / -2 )

In spite of the fact Japan does not test as aggressively as other countries this is good news. I am skeptical of the raw data (the sample size is not large enough) but I am not skeptical of the trend.

Agreed.

4 ( +7 / -3 )

For the record, 211 people were tested.

wow, I get down voted for a statement of fact, with data taken from the MHLW website. Why would anyone down vote facts?

8 ( +11 / -3 )

i love how self-righteous the pro-testing people are. the number of infections is just one of many metrics regional governments are using,

But how many are tested? How many elderly are given mandatory tests? I assure you it’s not that many.

and all are trending down greatly (e.g. # of hospitalizations, # of available beds, # of consultations for possible infections, etc.). face it, things are looking up. wouldn't you rather have a glass half full then half empty?

Like I said, if you want to believe Abe and the rest of the GOJ you do this, but comparing other densely populated countries and cities like South Korea, NY, London, Spain and Italy, it’s just hard to believe when you factor in the size and dense population of Japan, it’s just hard to believe, not to mention the rush to open the schools, so even if the stats were true, why a rush? Why not take things slow and in phases? At least be safe about it, but 48 hours after the end of the declaration schools were announcing next week schools will resume, malls and shops will re-open. I had to go to the hardware DIY center yesterday and it was Wall to Wall packed. I knew this was going to happen. This is a cause for deep concern because now that the Green light has been given, the people think they can relax and go about their business, some people aren’t even wearing masks anymore, they’re not being enforced, so at least at the very minimum you would think Japan would issue a slow phased approach to getting back to normal, they haven’t done that and that makes people think they’re not taking this virus serious at all.

1 ( +8 / -7 )

@Raw Beer

You are right that the virus cannot be completely wiped out. My thought is to carefully and slowly open up with recommendations for continued social distancing. We also now have very solid evidence the mortality rate is likely less than 1% (possibly even less than 0.5%). My logic for a careful and controlled return to normal would be based on the original SARS.

If you remember SARS in the early 90's many people said the same (it will never go away). It started around November 2002 and it seemed to vanish in the late summer of 2003. SARS was not as infectious as Covid 19 but had a much higher case mortality rate. The original SARS is probably still out there somewhere and this virus (scientifically known as SARS-CoV-2). There has probably been a herd immunity developed over time to the original SARS. I think the same will happen for Covid-19 and maybe sooner than people think (it is likely happening now). The reason seems to be that humans get Covid-19 the same way as the original SARS but have not built up an immunity to Covid-19 yet.

I read the following; "When the protein sequence of the SARS-CoV-2 receptor binding site was analyzed, an interesting result was found. While SARS-CoV-2 is overall more similar to bat coronaviruses, the receptor binding site was more similar to SARS-CoV."

To protect more vulnerable it would seem logical that the use of masks should be strongly recommended due to their effectiveness of reducing (not eliminating) the spread from an infected person.

The economic fallout from this is going to be extraordinary and if some move back to normal is not started soon it will be an economic catastrophe and the resulting economic crisis and psychological toll on humanity in general will be enormous.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Sorry I meant early 2000's above...not early 90's

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Japan Time reported several days ago the the total number of deaths during the corona period is the same as last year, same period. This means that we have indeed dodged the bullet. This way of measuring is simple and can be trusted, whereas other methods are difficult and the results can be massaged, which is what most of us suspected was going on.

Other countries that dodged the bullet seem to be those places where mask wearing is common in daily life; and also where people don't touch each other much socially.

So, I think we can indeed breath more easily now.

3 ( +10 / -7 )

Other countries that dodged the bullet seem to be those places where mask wearing is common in daily life; and also where people don't touch each other much socially.

Nobody wears masks in NZ and Australia, and they are very touchy (not temperamentally) compared to Japanese folk.

12 ( +12 / -0 )

Raw BeerToday  08:56 am JST

... we have achieved much more than a flattened curve, so no need for unnecessary testing.

Japan flattened the number of testing curve, not the infection curve.

1 ( +9 / -8 )

@nonu6976 - your observation is correct but on the other hand the population density is higher in Japan and many more people are crammed into trains.

I think here in Japan the masks are appropriate to reduce the risk of transmission to others by reducing the amount of small droplets emitted by an infected person when coughing, sneezing, or even while breathing.

The solutions probably vary based on the living conditions where they are to be applied.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

@Yubaru

Question, How many of these 310 people had previously tested positive for the virus? How many are "initial" tests? How many are being tested for maybe the third or fourth time here?

I think that none has been re-infected this time, for Osaka has always announced details when it is found (and recounted it as well).

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

Well, that was fun. The global economy got reduced by 40% over the 6th most deadly virus in the world.

Meanwhile. 815,000 people have died of diarrheal viruses globally this year. Zero mention of that in the news.

-3 ( +10 / -13 )

Headline should say 'reported' in there somewhere, gives the false impression that numbers = actual cases.

I suspect cases are going down from the measures implemented, but given the massively restricted access to testing there will still be a large amount of asymptomatic cases on top of people denied tests despite obviously having symptoms. I have been very unimpressed not only by the inept govt response, but also the media fanfare (dare I say propaganda?) in promoting it.

However, by and large, Japan seems to have avoided the more negative predictions by doing some things fairly early and the population already being fairly careful (I suspect mostly normal people carried it off). Also, at least the govt has admitted there will probably be subsequent waves of it whereas other countries' leaders have tried to pretend it's over so I hope they will be better prepared when it comes back (not if, when).

I'm going back to work on Wednesday to speak to customers in person. However, the company is not allowing group meetings and are installing plastic screens in rooms. This should be interesting...

4 ( +5 / -1 )

I would suggest looking at overall trends at several angles, not emotionally swing between hope and despair over daily reporting. Things also should be put into perspective.

Though spikes could happen as reopening is underway almost nationwide, the downward trend will persist with the curve sufficiently flattened so that local healthcare won't be badly affected (capacity for beds & equipment has much improved).

-6 ( +0 / -6 )

For the record, 211 people were tested.

Is this supposed to be commendable? Compared to thousands being tested in other developed countries, this number is a joke.

7 ( +10 / -3 )

For Tokyo to come out and boast about low numbers of new cases they must also include the number of tests carried out to make them conclusive. Osaka only rested 310 people in a city of 20 million people. What was the criteria for the selection of these people? Another point missing from the statistics. Without information on testing this article is just a number without any credible providence.

9 ( +11 / -2 )

That was Sunday, Lets see what happens Monday.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Oh Good. In a few more days they can stop testing altogether and announce that that the daily number of positive testes had reduced to Zero.

This figure means nothing unless it is accompanied with the number of tests conducted to uncover the 5 positive tests.

In reality they have no idea of the number/rate of infection as they do not have a reasonable sample size to extrapolate any meaningful results from.

6 ( +9 / -3 )

Regardless of how many were/weren't tested it's at least obvious that there are no mass deaths occurring. Open the country and allow people to put food on the table now.

0 ( +5 / -5 )

@Wobot,

my company are doing same things.

Group meetings are not allowed, everywhere are hand sanitizers, everyone wear mask, the lunch time changed so that only small groups can go to the Cantine, all desks are separated now with a distance of 2 meters, and 60% of the employees are in Telework.

These preventions came about 3-4 months ago and so far nobody shows any Corona Virus symptoms since then.

If all companies and businesses follow this kind of prevention example, the low cases in Tokyo and Osaka can be kept, and there is no reason why Japan should NOT go back to normal life!

0 ( +4 / -4 )

First, my Japanese doctor friend here is so angry with the Japanese government, because the testing that is being requested by doctors for pneumonia like symptoms gets rejected, often.

An American friend living out in Kasakabe told me that there was suppose to be testing done at the Kashiwa stadium, however, they are trying to keep that at 3 or so a day. In her words " a joke" I agree.

When the government can release the numbers of testing they are doing per day, the numbers of deaths for the entire 2019 and now for the entire 5 months and the number of people in the hospital and the number of people who have been turned away from hospitals will I believe the true situation.

An example, look at the poor Sumo wrestler who suffered for a month with this virus in closed quarters without any medical attention though his stable asked for help and only days prior to dying was he picked up by ambulance and was driven around for 3 hours before a hospital would take him in.

Finally, based on facts by a Japanese doctor and news reporting of this Sumo wrestler I do not believe these numbers and we all need to be very concerned for our lives and that of our children.

4 ( +10 / -6 )

Do the hustle 

Osaka only rested 310 people in a city of 20 million people. What was the criteria for the selection of these people?

It's not a survey with randomized samples. Numbers come in the process of diagnosis.

You also better think straightforward of the possibility that the whole number has been going down, rather than testing has been restricted. In case of Tokyo, the number of initial consultation/testing request have also dropped.

新型コロナ受診相談窓口相談件数

https://stopcovid19.metro.tokyo.lg.jp/cards/number-of-reports-to-covid19-consultation-desk/

-5 ( +2 / -7 )

Trump: The US cases are high only because we do a lot of testing. If we didn't test so much we would have no cases.

Abe: Japan cases are low only because we don't do a lot of testing. If we tested more we would have more cases.

Both leaders think that testing means you have the virus. No test means no virus. They haven't learned testing simply reveals the cases. Not causes them.

8 ( +9 / -1 )

What are we waiting for? Let's all ride some trains, hang out in groups and go back to work! 5 cases is nothing!

downvotechallenge #sarcasm #mostwontunderstand
0 ( +5 / -5 )

Recent numbers of people tested in Tokyo:

5/14 1,035 (people tested), 30 (positive)

5/13 887 (people tested), 30 (positive)

5/12 1,169 (people tested), 36 (positive)

5/11 1,165 (people tested), 49 (positive)

https://stopcovid19.metro.tokyo.lg.jp/cards/positive-rate/

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Other countries that dodged the bullet seem to be those places where mask wearing is common in daily life; and also where people don't touch each other much socially.

Non sense! A place called Africa, a whole continent, has a tiny amount of cases given the large populations and the low wealth of many countries there. Not to mention that your theory about wearing mask and having low sociability does not make many sense there. And actually it doesn't not make sense in Japan either, since the country has every year a large pandemic of flu. Here is the report of the flu outbreak last year:

https://www3.nhk.or.jp/nhkworld/en/news/backstories/370/

In the country of masks and low sociability, at that time Japan's health ministry reported that an estimated 1.6 million people were treated for flu symptoms in the week to February 3 2019. So is your theory still holding? I don't think so, moreover given that like the flu, the COVID-19 is a respiratory decease that pretty much spread the same way.

The reason why Japan has a low number of infected people is because it didn't test, period. The number of asymptomatic people with this virus is huge and without testing, they just can't be detected. Not only that, hospitals in Japan refused to test people having COVID-19 like symptoms but which were judged insufficient to mandate a test. This alone is thousands of people. At the current infection rate, the number of infected people is probably more than 60,000 right now. The strategy of Japan has been to test very few to mechanically decrease the number of reported cases, saving face strategy at its best.

Now, they could do that because they did not have a surge of people in critical conditions (and so death) as it has been observed on the East Coast of US and in some countries in Europe. But this has nothing to do with "culture" in contrary to what the silly Japanophiles are saying. The scientific reasons why some populations are more effected than others are still not clear but it has to do with science not dogmatism.

4 ( +7 / -3 )

Yep every off with those masks get down to your local Izakaiya Pachinko Bar Shopping Mall get that economy pumping again....

Does anyone know of a site that are counting people who have been refused testing???

Because I would say its more than the number of tests they are doing..

Limited testing limited cases geez the public really cant be that dumb now can they...

Thou shall trust Mario....

0 ( +5 / -5 )

The main thing is that I won’t change my cautious behavior as the virus is still in the population...

9 ( +9 / -0 )

Please everyone get a life and get back to work. Cheers.

2 ( +8 / -6 )

Very encouraging, to the entire world - just like NZ. And Tokyo is the largest city in the world too. Great news.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

Regardless of how many were/weren't tested it's at least obvious that there are no mass deaths occurring. Open the country and allow people to put food on the table now.

Exactly, low testing does have an effect, but it is clearly not the only factor, probably not even the main factor behind the low reported infection rates.

Reopening while taking some precautions (masks, sanitizers, teleworking when convenient...) is fine. Schools should reopen.

It seems many here will only accept reopening if we find zero infection after testing everyone. Perhaps they just can't accept that Japan is doing better than their countries of origin.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

Long live masks, washlets, bowing, hand soap in many public toilets, and a lack of obesity.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

hand soap in many public toilets

Go to major toilets in major stations across Japan and see if there is soap there. And anyone living in Japan long enough knows that Japanese have terrible hand hygiene as in many other countries.

The only thing you wrote and that could make sense is the lack of obesity.

4 ( +8 / -4 )

What Kurisupiso said is exactly the point: I won’t change my cautious behavior

In my experience with my friends and co-workers and what I sometimes see in strangers, many people in japan lives with a cautious behavior these days according the virus.

That is also a reason why the numbers are low.

If everyone continues the daily life with some kind of advanced-hygiene and social behavior, the problem of the Corona Virus will be gone.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Those who still think unnecessary testing is the solution to this problem seem unhappy Japan has proven the world wrong and seem to have its approach working, it’s been 4 months since some on here predicted doomsday due to japans testing approach but we are yet to see that

This!^^

These people that keep talking about doomsday are now the outlier conspiracy theorists. Always bleating on about government cover-ups etc. The narrative has changed, time to jump on the new bandwagon now.

We are going to be OK and it's very much time to start reviving our economies. Too many people have been put into immense financial hardship due to unnecessary lockdowns.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

daito

A place called Africa, a whole continent, has a tiny amount of cases given the large populations and the low wealth of many countries there. Not to mention that your theory about wearing mask and having low sociability does not make many sense there

The African case is interesting, drawing my attention.

The scientific reasons why some populations are more effected than others are still not clear but it has to do with science not dogmatism

This question is significant, remains to be explored. Both discussions and enquiries are underway, with some suggesting an effect of earlier vaccination programs (practiced to a varying degree among countries) upon immunity systems. Below is just one, and let's wait and see more studies.

BCG-induced trained immunity: can it offer protection against COVID-19?

https://www.nature.com/articles/s41577-020-0337-y

3 ( +4 / -1 )

BCG-induced trained immunity: can it offer protection against COVID-19?

https://www.nature.com/articles/s41577-020-0337-y

Yeah for example, that's a a path of exploration. There are many others being explored: genetics; a recent scientific analysis have shown that although the observed strains of the virus have very little change between them, the strain affecting Europe and East US has a slight difference in the location where antibodies get attach to it which causes the cytokine storm among certain individuals: vitamin D and immunity health; obesity, etc.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The main thing is that I won’t change my cautious behavior as the virus is still in the population...

Exactly, just like many of us have done at every flu season.

Reopening does not mean that we can run around licking doorknobs...

We should reopen, while remaining cautious.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

oldman_13: "No doubt the usual naysayers will put a negative spin on it (not testing enough, government cover up, so on)."

Because they are relevant points -- at least about the testing (not sure what you're talking about with a government coverup). I love how you pounce on a thread as quickly as you can and state the obvious as though it is a bad thing, instead of being a valid argument. 310 tests in Osaka, bud. Quick question, what percent is that of the population of Osaka? I'll tell you. It's about 8.8 M plus. Now, that means they gave approximately one test per 2.3 million people. That's probably DEAD last in the entire world. So, yeah, people are rightly pointing out, since people like yourself don't listen, when you don't test, you don't find anything. Period.

0 ( +7 / -7 )

I heared that ALTs wont be starting when schools open up goverment wants to keep them away from the kids only homeroom teachers allowed in the classrooms.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@Raw Beer

Exactly, just like many of us have done at every flu season.

Reopening does not mean that we can run around licking doorknobs...

We should reopen, while remaining cautious.

100% agree!

5 ( +5 / -0 )

nonu6976Today  09:16 am JST

For the record, 211 people were tested.

wow, I get down voted for a statement of fact, with data taken from the MHLW website. Why would anyone down vote facts?

because it goes against their narrative.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

I find it strange that when the figures show that the lockdown appears to have been effective in reducing the numbers, people use that to attack the lockdown and claim that it shows it was unnecessary.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

5/14 1,035 (people tested), 30 (positive)

5/13 887 (people tested), 30 (positive)

5/12 1,169 (people tested), 36 (positive)

5/11 1,165 (people tested), 49 (positive)

These numbers speak for themselves. An average of 2 to 4% of people being tested have symptoms. Very crude extrapolation - 372 new infections / day at 3%.

With so many people going untested, I do not see how the number of cases can actually be decreasing. The number of tests being performed is obviously being kept low to artificially lower the number of reported infections.

4 ( +8 / -4 )

I heared that ALTs wont be starting when schools open up goverment wants to keep them away from the kids only homeroom teachers allowed in the classrooms

Not in Fukuoka, my friend was telling me, one of the schools asked him to start from this week. I guess it depends on the schools and prefectures, but I know a lot of kids can’t wait to see their friends. I’m keeping my kids home until next month or longer if need be, I think it’s way to fast and too early for this.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

New Zealand has a population of 4.7 million. Australia a population of 25 million. Hardly valid comparisons. Figures for the presence of SARSCoV-2 are not simply numbers shouted out by Abe or shadowy figures aka 'the government'. They are compiled thru various sources, such as hospitals, local governments, public healthcare institutions, etc.

This from the article in the journal, Nature Reviews Immunology, 5/11: "Most individuals infected with SARS-CoV-2 remain asymptomatic or develop a mild-to-moderate disease that is mainly characterized by upper respiratory tract symptoms.  However, a significant minority of patients progress to severe pneumonia with ARDS, respiratory insufficiency and even death, particularly older patients. At the time of writing, SARS-CoV-2 has killed more than 264,000 people, with over 2 million infected, and has given rise to a global economic shutdown, which is predicted to lead to a depression more serious than the great depression of the 1930s."

Various studies allow that due to reproduction factors, eventually the numbers go down and flatten. Interestingly, the 1918 Flu epidemic came in three waves. Everyone infected in the second wave perished. Obviously, the 1918 Flu was more virulent than SARSCoV-2. Yes, the coronavirus-19 is not the flu.

As cited, somewhere above: practices in place need to be kept & followed - masks, hand washing, general hygiene and avoiding overcrowding and keeping social distancing in certain & particular milieus. Opening up schools and business needs to be in stages. And large scale gatherings should remain cancelled thru the summer. What will happen is unknown.

Testing is a panacea, as it is often cited as some means of arriving at accurate figures, which is a queer understanding wedded to some manner of accounting and somehow will stave off the virus. It has a specific function - indeed it can be used to identify clusters, but then what? Tracking is a limited tool. And the current use, testing those who have symptoms is reasonable, as testing everyone is an impossibility and it would have to be performed en masse. Asymptomatic individuals do represent a barrier to managing the spread of the virus. No matter, a slow burn thru the population is inevitable, lacking a vaccine. Quarantining the healthy is certainly an odd stratagem - its value can be assessed later. Controlled isolation, reducing contact is a partial solution, but eventually reaches a zero point, if there are no random contacts, which is neigh impossible. As is, we shall see what we shall see.

There has certainly been a lack of planning by public healthcare officials and it has been churned into a political event. The state failed in its response. This is notable: the Chinese are lauded for their ability to construct a 'hospital' in a very  compressed time-frame - what is ignored, it indicates China was not fully prepared for such an epidemic and reflects a failure to have sufficient resources in place, though being fully aware that such an event is imminent. Same throughout the world, where healthcare has been diminished for various economic and political purposes. Public healthcare has not been fully and adequately funded by design. Which is a problem in the so-called first world. Let alone the lack of adequate resources in poor countries. However, two shining examples are Vietnam and Cuba, small nations but with well-planned responses. The rest of the world, not so. Next pandemic will be a killer, unless there are changes in the social structure and institutions.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

As for Osaka, none of 310 people who took a viral test Sunday tested positive.

I'm scared.... this isn't even funny.... 0.0001% of the population in Osaka don't have the sickness and it's news!?

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Someone is still bitching about a lack of soap in public restrooms at train stations. Or as they say: major toilets. And asserting that 'Japanese' (who or what that means) have poor hygiene, which is noticeable if you live in Japan long enough. Really? You have spent significant time in toilets all across Japan? And sniffing around to identify bad hygiene among the entire population? Maybe you should write up a study. Or better yet, develop a hobby.

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

Once last statement on May 5th, 2020 Nikkei News reported that Abe himself stated "there was not enough testing being done and so making opening Japan difficult" reportedly these were Abe's words. So, it means in 10 days later they have ramped up their testing, which hey, wonderful if indeed this is the case but again based on last weekend in Kashiwa's stadium only 3 people tested it does not appear so.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

They only tested 214 people yesterday. Moronic.

https://stopcovid19.metro.tokyo.lg.jp/en/

0 ( +3 / -3 )

And the most in the previous two days was just under 600 people one day in April. Never even broken 4 digits in a city with 13 million people. That is a number with 8 digits btw.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

wow, I get down voted for a statement of fact, with data taken from the MHLW website. Why would anyone down vote facts?

You do know that a large proportion of these doom mongering left leaning individuals, who want a society without risk, can NEVER be wrong? It goes against the self appointed superior morality (usually theoretical) and sanctimonious condescension that comes with the territory.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Anyhow dont care what the goverment decides and the schools decide Ill make my own decisions for my kids safety think there are plenty out there that think along the same lines.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

For all you happy people how many people do you think got tested.. on a sunday?

0 ( +3 / -3 )

@Richard Gallagher - Your post is very well put together.

And the current use, testing those who have symptoms is reasonable, as testing everyone is an impossibility and it would have to be performed en masse. Asymptomatic individuals do represent a barrier to managing the spread of the virus. No matter, a slow burn thru the population is inevitable, lacking a vaccine. Quarantining the healthy is certainly an odd stratagem - its value can be assessed later.

I would like to address the above. I believe that the statement that quarantining the healthy is odd should be expanded on just a bit. First I fully agree it is odd but on the other hand there seems to be evidence that it has stopped the acceleration of transmission so I would like to say I agree with that caveat.

As for testing 100% of the population; I also agree this is not possible due to the amount of test kits available as well as the fact there are not enough human resources to do so. The best option would be to determine a desired or proper sample size and then perform testing of large samples of the population in large urban areas that show any symptoms of the virus at all. In addition perform antigen testing (as was done in Santa Clara County, CA and in Kobe) to estimate how many people are infected. Based on that data decisions which are truly based on science can be made.

I also agree that a "slow burn thru" will occur (and likely has occurred already). Furthermore I believe that the process of developing a "herd immunity" is very well underway.

More and more this is looking strikingly familiar to SARS in 2003 (with a higher infection rate and lower mortality rate) and I really hope it follows the same trend.

You are right; this is certainly not the flu but we continue to learn more and more and we will probably look back and realize that this pandemic was bad but not as bad as we originally believed.

Unfortunately emotion and politics always seem to take a front seat and science gets left behind in discussions about this issue.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

The tests arent randomized. Only those who have strong possibility of infection are tested and there is a screening to determine that. They cannot just decide on an arbitrary number of tests to do everyday.

They did want to do more testing so they relaxed the screening guidelines to allow more people to pass the guidelines.

If the number of people who applies for screening goes down, then the number of tests goes down.

And if the number of positive cases is indeed going down then there will be less people who will apply for screening next time.

The govt however will do another kind of testing, for a different purpose or purposes. For those purposes they will conduct a set number of tests, presumably randomized. That's the 10,000 antibody tests that was on the news recently

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

How did they do it? Few tests = Few cases.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

They cannot just decide on an arbitrary number of tests to do everyday.

Actually they can.

Just as many other countries already do, you simply set up some drive-thru testing sites where anyone who wants to get a test, can. Its that simple.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Nope, it's not that simple. They still have guidelines

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Without proper quantities of testing they'll not know where clusters occur. This can only be intentional

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Good news.Lets hope will go better day by day.

But still no abenomasks received/dont need that overpriced rubbish anyway/ and more important-no 100.000jpy in sight as did not get even application for it...but yes bills for taxes and car taxes are here...in time...T.I.J./this is Japan/

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Nope, it's not that simple. They still have guidelines

It is that simple.

Koike claims Tokyo has capacity for several thousand tests per day, so why are they not using it?

If only a couple hundred people are calling into health centers for testing, why not use this extra capacity at drive-thru testing stations?

What guideline prevents this?

3 ( +5 / -2 )

I read somewhere that Japanese people take shoes off when they enter houses and bow instead of shaking hands when they meet people. These customs are helping us keep safer. But, I wonder why crowded trains did not become serious problems.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

@noriahojanen as usual very sensible posts. I too wish more people take the time and look deeper in to the BCG vaccine and it's variants in this context .

I start with a presumption that neither countries nor hospitals do anything meaningful to prevent or cure covid19 and this (the BCG link) has the potential to could crack open the problem and indeed explain lots of what we see.

There is though one other thing I wouldn't mind you commenting!

Could it be the masks for Japan. Firstly everyone wears them and that is already 2 layers of obstacles for sars-cov-2. They maybe not able to 100% protect you from covid19 but they may have protected you from something (something that is here or in the US but not in Africa etc..) else in the same time We know for a fact that COVID19 kills somewhat weakened immunity configurations what I don't know is how people will react with complex infections. sars-cov2 + influenza or sars-cov2+some_other_bacteria. Could this explain the cytokine storm ? Can we expect 0 covid19 deaths and fast covid19 recoveries once the winter specific pathogens are gone ?

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

@Tokyo-Engr, and @ Richard Gallagher - Thank you both for the very intelligent, insightful, and cogent remarks.

In my view, the Japanese citizens have accomplished one of the most commendable jobs in combatting this SARS-CoV-2, given the low numbers of fatalities there; absolutely remarkable!

To the Japanese: the fact that you have high levels of personal hygiene is a definite plus, and, also, continue heeding social distancing as best as you can, plus the added fact that yours is a society that has probably the highest per capita use of face masks in the world.

Very commendable, Japan!

-6 ( +2 / -8 )

And just out of thin air.... the number of infected people has dropped to zero. What's is going on?

4 ( +5 / -1 )

@Waddo

Japan Time reported several days ago the the total number of deaths during the corona period is the same as last year, same period. This means that we have indeed dodged the bullet.

Except, it has also been reported that the number of deaths due to traffic accidents and suicides for the same time last year, same period, is at a record low level. You subtract the numbers of deaths from these reasons, then add the numbers of covid-19 deaths, tadah = total number of deaths looks to be at a "normal level".

@Northernlife

Does anyone know of a site that are counting people who have been refused testing???

This site doesn't count every case, but people who have been refused or accepted testing can add their experiences on the map. When you check the pins on Japan, you don't see any green pins (=accepted for testing), but you only see mainly orange pins (=denied testing even with symptoms). Sadly the site hasn't really surfaced in the media though, so only a handful of cases here. However, it's interesting to read of the experiences. Referral for testing being denied by doctors in Japan e.g. because "there's no treatment anyways", or "it's expensive to test".

https://covid19map.safecast.org/views/map

1 ( +2 / -1 )

The statistics of COVID-19 in Japan is unreliable, as they have changed the method too many times. https://toyokeizai.net/articles/-/350610

https://www.newsweekjapan.jp/marukawa/2020/05/post-62_6.php

Nevertheless, the ratio of confirmed to tested number of people in Tokyo had decreased during the past weeks approximately from 70% to 10%, but it is puzzling that the both number of tests and confirmed cases has decreased at the same rate:

https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/49907937646_2f487d45e4_b.jpg

The ratio (blue) and the number of tested people (red) in a 7-day moving average compiled from https://stopcovid19.metro.tokyo.lg.jp/ I took the moving averages because of the delays between test and confirmation.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Someone is still bitching about a lack of soap in public restrooms at train stations. Or as they say: major toilets.

Yeah Einstein, lack of soap in public toilets in a so called hygienic country.

And asserting that 'Japanese' (who or what that means) have poor hygiene, which is noticeable if you live in Japan long enough. Really? You have spent significant time in toilets all across Japan?

Yeah just spending 20 years living and working here. And here is a survey about hand washing after toilet in Japan in 2016:

https://prtimes.jp/main/html/rd/p/000000017.000014710.html

Almost one in five people polled said that they occasionally skip washing their hands and its get worse when looking at the people who claim to wash them. Only slightly more than 40 percent of those polled seemed to understand that the use of soap is really the deciding factor in whether or not you’re “washing” something. And the bidet function is not an excuse since the percentage of bidet function users is smaller than that of non-soap users, and by a pretty wide margin.

And sniffing around to identify bad hygiene among the entire population?

Just take take the train during rush hour.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

@Vinke makes you wonder who is instructing the doctors not to test?

Thanks so much for the link interesting stuff..

1 ( +1 / -0 )

MkoreaMwafrika I don't know which Japan are you living in but you think there is good hygiene here? Have you never ridden a train next to an ojisan picking his nose and flicking it on the floor or wiping it on the hand strap? Do I need to mention the

-spitting

-failure to wash hands

-coughing without covering the mouth

do I need to go on?

7 ( +9 / -2 )

Not being smug, but this is good news in what's a very infected world. Perhaps other countries should take a look at why Japan has been able to sidestep this disaster without even having taken any major steps to confront it.

a facial mask culture from before

bowing but not shaking hands

not a hug-hug type society

etc.

-5 ( +2 / -7 )

"310 were tested in Osaka", to give a true reading and better understanding of the spread of C19, I would have thought that 300,000 would be better and more accurate. yet again is this another gentle manipulation of the figures?

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Indeed, and I reiterate: Japanese citizens have done a very commendable job in keeping fatalities as low as they are for the reasons I mentioned: good hygiene; keeping distance by bowing to each other vs shaking hands; having in my view, the highest per capita face mask wearing of any country I 've visited in East Asia.

That said, it's instructive and impressive, to me, that these Japanese numbers are as low as they are despite them not adopting the draconian authoritarian tactics employed by China, or the equally invasive China-lite measures used by South Korea.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

Only 5 cases reported doesn't equal only 5 cases. Hospitals are still refusing to test most people who haven't been sick for less than 5 Days and they are refusing people who are supposedly infected. How can figures be accurate in these conditions ?

2 ( +4 / -2 )

MkoreaMwafrika, where have you been? Japan is NOT testing so the numbers are low!

6 ( +8 / -2 )

"Only 5 cases reported doesn't equal only 5 cases."

True, but it's still a very big difference from what has been reported/confirmed elsewhere, such as the U.S.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

I wouldn't get my hopes up just yet.

How about the number of results that came out?

We were told by a few that the test results only come out after 3 to 5 days.

How is it so?

Does that mean, we shouldn't compare the number of tested with number of positives?

I say we should compare the number of test results that came out with number of positives.

That should give us more accurate numbers.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

"True, but it's still a very big difference from what has been reported/confirmed elsewhere, such as the U.S."

I agree, but again, it's all due to the lack of testing ! The situation in hospitals here is unbelievable ! When you see some people who haven't been tested that are still told they only have a cold or the flu and given the medication for that then sent home, you can but wonder about the accuracy of the figures.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

" . . . it's all due to the lack of testing."

Very true, but the present U.S. coronavirus death count is at 90,000.

Wouldn't such high numbers be difficult to hide or misdiagnose in Japan?

1 ( +4 / -3 )

"Wouldn't such high numbers be difficult to hide or misdiagnose in Japan?"

Well, I wonder why they would hide the numbers.... Remember this is a country where one must not lose face, where if you don't talk about an issue, then there's no issue.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

Stormcrow true there are way less deaths here, but it doesn't mean Tokyo had just 5 cases last sunday.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

rimno

Does that mean, we shouldn't compare the number of tested with number of positives?

A time lag may occur for reporting (by 1-2 days), but the individual result should always be tied to the individual testing case.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Yubaru:

Sounds to me you would have preferred they stayed open, Even if it's too late, at least they are alive!

You do realize that most people would be alive, even if the government had done absolutely nothing and let the infection just run its course, or do you not?

The mortality rate of this thing seems to be around 1%, which is course higher than the seasonal flue, but not anything like Ebola or even Sars. I think Japan played it right by not taking police state measures like we see in the UK and some states in the US.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Waddo:

Other countries that dodged the bullet seem to be those places where mask wearing is common in daily life; and also where people don't touch each other much socially.

The country that has done best is Taiwan right next door.

Taiwan: ignored the CCP-approved "advice" given by the WHO and a) closed its borders early, b) ordered its domestic industries to produce mask early and in volume (instead of relying on tainted products from China), c) promoted mask wearing and social distancing, but d) did NOT shut down its economy and ordered people to stay indoors.

Why don´t Western politicians not learn from those who do it right? Especially the depencence on misinformation from the corrupt WHO looks almost criminal to me.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

@doggar

i was quoting armel malejaco.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

where have you been? Japan is NOT testing so the numbers are low!

I think at this Japan is pretty thinking, kids can’t wait, schools need to resume, divorce rate is climbing, people are growing frustrated and depressed, businesses are hurting, now prove to me numbers weren’t fudged around to make it seem like all is just fine and well. Everything re-opens and the GOJ doesn’t need to take responsibility from this point to the point where they have to print moenu

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Stormcrow I wouldn't start celebrating just yet.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Sorry, typo. “Money” People work, out and about, they take their own lives in their hands, enforced lockdown the government does and you can see it at how fast life is getting back to normal, but if the Government had a mandatory lockdown and people were fined big bucks for not wearing masks or breaking social distancing rules, people would listen then. People are scared to illegally download music because it carries a ¥500,000 penalty fine and cancelation of your internet service, this is why you still have Cd’s still in Japan, so if they can penalize people for illegally downloading music, they could do something similar when enforcing the social distancing rules, but they won’t and never intended to from the start.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

@doggar

Even if there were zero cases of the coronavirus in Japan, I wouldn’t celebrate due to all of death it’s brought to the world. Also, I wouldn’t make such a claim about you or anyone else because to do so would be presumptuous.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Yeah, sure....if people want to believe these people...

Better Abe, than Trump, Boris & the likes...

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Great news . Ganbatte Nihon.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

United States total tests 11,499,203 positive 1,479,203

Japan total tests 244,452 thousand positive 4084 population 120 million

These are stats from the end of March for both countries what is wrong with this picture, and I am still looking for stats for both countries that are more recent with the hopes with Japan's numbers being more positive than this.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

And up to 10 again. People have to remember that those counts are for 3 days ago, so weekend-no-testing-time.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

and I am still looking for stats for both countries that are more recent with the hopes with Japan's numbers being more positive than this.

Why would you possible want Japan to have higher numbers?

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

I have had doubts about the low numbers but the monthly dearth rates for the months this year, are lower than the same months last year. How is that explained away?

3 ( +3 / -0 )

as fewer and fewer are tested results will be lower - sheer genius!

2 ( +2 / -0 )

looking like a June 1 reopen. Although based on seeing outside, its already reopened just no one told the government.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@doggar

you forgot coughing into the others’ faces..,

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Opening back up, pandemic over, victory declared, "take off that mask, you look so stupid in it"...

Wonder if this is going to be like the "Spanish" Flu were the second wave killed far more than the first. I guess only time will tell.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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