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Japan issues coronavirus medical guidance as infections rise

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Let’s address the surgical mask as a prophylaxis nonsense:

*Dr David Carrington, of St George's, University of London, told BBC News "routine surgical masks for the public are not an effective protection against viruses or bacteria carried in the air", which was how "most viruses" were transmitted, because they were too loose, had no air filter and left the eyes exposed.*

But they could help lower the risk of contracting a virus through the "splash" from a sneeze or a cough and provide some protection against hand-to-mouth transmissions.

https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.bbc.com/news/amp/health-51205344

But, hey, let’s trust our grandmother over a trained physician. Seems reasonable.

5 ( +17 / -12 )

Please provide links to those 'nationwide health-care centers in charge of responding to the outbreak'.

10 ( +11 / -1 )

"The ministry is now encouraging people who have had a temperature of 37.5 C or higher for four days, are feeling lethargic or are experiencing shortness of breath to contact by phone nationwide health-care centers in charge of responding to the outbreak."

So, where is the medical advice? Is it just this little snippet about seeing a doctor if you have a fever? This 'medical advice' applies to just about anybody with a cold. Or, are they referring to Health Minister's advice from yesterday 'urging' people to avoid crowds? I don't see any 'actual' medical advice.

13 ( +16 / -3 )

The best method to minimize incoming virus spread is to stop the planes coming daily to multiple airports from PRC.

13 ( +19 / -6 )

> Fighto! - The best method to minimize incoming virus spread is to stop the planes coming daily to multiple airports from PRC.

That time has come and gone. The virus is spreading within the Japanese communities now and, the only real advice from the health ministry is to avoid crowds.

15 ( +20 / -5 )

Maybe if the Japanese government recommend elderly and vulnerable people get an Pneumonia vaccination

-11 ( +1 / -12 )

Please provide links to those 'nationwide health-care centers in charge of responding to the outbreak'.

https://www.mhlw.go.jp/stf/seisakunitsuite/bunya/kenkou_iryou/kenkou/hokenjo/

https://www.mhlw.go.jp/stf/seisakunitsuite/bunya/kenkou_iryou/covid19-kikokusyasessyokusya.html

Did you even try looking yourself?

4 ( +12 / -8 )

People cannot buy masks at stores. They are all sold out while the authority says throw away the used masks. I heard a good news that there is no problem using the same masks repeatedly after washing them if the same person is using the masks.

-4 ( +5 / -9 )

Kato also asked individuals who have developed cold-like symptoms to keep track of their temperature and refrain from going to work or school.

I am glad to see this very important issue is mentioned. While this is common sense in many countries, going to work sick seems to be a standard practice in Japan. Masks don't prevent the transmission to others. This is the best medical advice to stop the spreading - stop going to work sick.

18 ( +18 / -0 )

People cannot buy masks at stores. They are all sold out while the authority says throw away the used masks. I heard a good news that there is no problem using the same masks repeatedly after washing them if the same person is using the masks.

The good news is that masks do not prevent contraction of viruses, but they do lessen the spread of a virus from an infected person.

Try reading the article I linked to. Medical doctors explain why masks aren’t effective at preventing contraction. I linked to the article because far too many Japanese people are too intellectually lazy to question what they are told and rely on an authority figure instead of science.

8 ( +19 / -11 )

Japan needs to get serious with this. Let me put in another way the Japanese government will understand, if your voters start dying don't expect to be in power very long.

2 ( +9 / -7 )

So 6 weeks after COVID-19 was declared a public health emergency of international concern, the Japanese government is “unveiling medical guidance”. Instead of real proactive procedures, like for example cleaning and disinfecting all surfaces in trains people hold on to at the end of stations, regular desinfection of hand rails (escalators especially) in train stations and elsewhere, panels for ticket vending and ATMs, surfaces in reception areas etc, etc, etc, they are still waffling and giving guidance which should have been provided 5 weeks ago. There is still no real protocol in place about how to deal with this calamity in hospitals and public spaces like for example in Singapore.

8 ( +12 / -4 )

Hopefully the friendly gentlemen in the story photo, sleeping in the seats reserved for handicapped passengers are not showing a "temperature of 37.5 C or higher for four days, are (not) feeling lethargic or are experiencing shortness of breath."

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Wearing only a t-shirt is most likely not the best attire for winter though.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

my wife was telling me last night that she read on the news that there are some countries now cancelling flights to and from Japan- that they are treating Japan in a similar manner as China. That its getting really bad here.

-10 ( +3 / -13 )

Although I can't find anything online on that issue...

-6 ( +3 / -9 )

Ever made a mess of your hands while coughing or sneezing? What do you do if you are on a train? The train then jostles and you need to hold onto something, right? You're not a professional surfer, so you grab something, anything. Oh no, your gross hands just touched the loops! Oh well, the next person will just have to deal with it, right?

What about the opposite? Someone else makes a mess of their hands with a rather gurgly cough and then grabs a hold of the loops! Onto the train you come and you just happen to grab ahold of that same germy hand loop. Uh oh, your nose itches, gotta scratch it! And while you're at it, there's a crumb from lunch on the corner of your mouth. Whoopsie daisy! No mask. Oh well. You don't believe in masks, so it doesn't matter, right?

-3 ( +5 / -8 )

Reap what you sow.

The Japanese government entirely didn't treat the situation serious enough in the beginning or just valued tourist dollars more than the well-being of the country. Now look where we are... and it's just getting started.

8 ( +11 / -3 )

Some Japanese students going to live with host families in certain countries are being told that their assigned host family has cancelled their offer. That's really bad news. In another situation, hotels/motels (NZ) are asking for proof of ones travels within the last month and if you cannot prove your whereby you cannot stay.

I made a suggestion that the student wear their 'made in Japan' tee-shirt.

This situation that could have been prevented is getting out of control and 'may' ultimately affect us all one way or the other. Take good care people.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Japan, be strong. You will not be abandoned.

-3 ( +5 / -8 )

Good news on research front in contagion battle

http://www.ecns.cn/news/2020-02-17/detail-ifztrmvi9821613.shtml

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Hopefully the friendly gentlemen in the story photo, sleeping in the seats reserved for handicapped passengers are not showing a "temperature of 37.5 C or higher for four days, are (not) feeling lethargic or are experiencing shortness of breath.

Take a look at the reflection in the window. The hand straps are gray meaning they’re normal seats.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

I’d better start checking temperature of my kids just in case and write down and records it if my wife agrees.

health minister Katsunobu Kato said at a press conference that people with colds or influenza tend to see their health recover after three to four days on average

recover after when? If under prescribed medication or incubation or when start to show influenza symptoms?

i personally trust measures taken by Japan, also when it comes to numbers I hope to think it’s more accurate.

The centers will then recommend medical institutions they should visit. The period is shorter at two days

does it mean testing can be done after 2 days of signs shown? Like after having 4 days of higher temperature?

3000 test kits a day, whatever equipment and medical qualification is needed to carry out this test (which I hope is the newest best available), I hope there will be quickest international effort to send it, in case it is running out, like very very quick when we need it .

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Raising public concerns, the number of cases despite no recent record of coming into contact with people from virus-stricken regions in China or without symptoms has been increasing.

What a mangled sentence - incredibly poorly written.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

@David Van Cleef of course I could look for it. The point is to make the information easily found.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Disillusioned Today  06:50 am JST

So, where is the medical advice?

I suppose it would look like an illusion not having any medical advice in an article about medical advice, but it's there, you just have to read the entire article:

"In unveiling the medical guidance, health minister Katsunobu Kato said at a press conference that people with colds or influenza tend to see their health recover after three to four days on average while those infected with the virus do not."

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Feels like shades of 3/11 extremely poor govt disaster mgmt all over again. I hope they get their act together soon - for Japan's sake.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Unfortunately the Japanese word kaze is too broad and so most Japanese can't tell the difference between a common cold and something else. They do go to the doctor anyway, but most are just quacks that will give you medicine without doing any tests.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

Under your fingernails,is where all disease hide, escape any sanitizer, why is best to trim your fingernails weekly,people prepare with diseases fingernails

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

But they could help lower the risk of contracting a virus through the "splash" from a sneeze or a cough and provide some protection against hand-to-mouth transmissions.

Considering that Japanese people (males in particular) quite often don't cover their mouth when they cough or sneeze, I will wear and prefer they use face masks. Additionally, I have developed train legs, so I almost never grab a handle or any train railing unless I have my cotton gloves from the conbini that I can wash. I stopped touching the railing when I saw this 20-something young guy kept digging in his nose on the train and secretly wiped it on the train handle and escalator from the platform because he had no tissue.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Also, like many emergencies, the working poor will get hit the hardest if this gets serious. They will be less likely to see the doctor. They will also be more susceptible to exposure. They can't miss work or have the option to work from home. Not to mention, they are often more likely to be physically tired making their immune systems weaker.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Everyone should relax. The J-govt is having meetings about all issues. There will be a great plan announced, in a week or so.

5 ( +9 / -4 )

I just ordered proper air filtration masks on Amazon costing 52 dollars a piece for my son and I. Twice a week I must travel on the crowded rush hour train to work and I am not taking the risk, and in addition my son and I will travel on the plane Golden Week and I want to know we are wearing the proper masks to give us the utmost protection.

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

Also, people should be wearing gloves on the trains and outside and washing them as soon as they get home.

2 ( +6 / -4 )

Aly RustomToday  08:09 am JST

my wife was telling me last night that she read on the news that there are some countries now cancelling flights to and from Japan- that they are treating Japan in a similar manner as China. That its getting really bad here.

Aly RustomToday  08:19 am JST

Although I can't find anything online on that issue...

This is how "fake news" spreads.

9 ( +14 / -5 )

Try reading the article I linked to. Medical doctors explain why masks aren’t effective at preventing contraction. I

No it does not, it mentions they are not efficient as a measure against one mechanism that is NOT the one this epidemic depends for expansion, two paragraphs down it clearly mentions it is useful against the main mechanism of transmission for this virus.

 Instead of real proactive procedures, like for example cleaning and disinfecting all surfaces in trains people hold on to at the end of stations, regular desinfection of hand rails (escalators especially) in train stations and elsewhere, panels for ticket vending and ATMs, surfaces in reception areas etc, etc, etc

Those are not useful nor effective, unless you have staff constantly disinfecting surface 24/7 it would be useless because after the first person touches it it has to be considered contaminated. Cost is hugely higher than the very limited benefit.

3000 test kits a day, whatever equipment and medical qualification is needed to carry out this test (which I hope is the newest best available), I hope there will be quickest international effort to send it, in case it is running out, like very very quick when we need it .

There is no real need of materials from overseas, what is needed to be able to complete more test are facilities and staff that can handle infectious materials and extremely sensitive tests, unfortunately those are relatively scarce in Japan because the population in general oppose very strongly having them inside the territory (up to the first emerging disease outbreak of course)

so I almost never grab a handle or any train railing unless I have my cotton gloves from the conbini that I can wash

This would give almost no benefit, the infection do not enter by the hands, so there is no point in avoiding contaminating your hands, the risk comes when your hands transport the contaminated materials to your face, and cotton gloves are perfectly fine for this, so for the purpose of this epidemic they have no use.

8 ( +10 / -2 )

Everyone should relax. The J-govt is having meetings about all issues. There will be a great plan announced, in a week or so.

A beautiful perfect plan?

4 ( +6 / -2 )

There will be a great plan announced, in a week or so.

Ever the pessimist arent you! I actually expect an announcement sometime AFTER it has all blown over!

6 ( +8 / -2 )

Very funny, theFu! But I think the Government is still in pre-meeting meetings to figure out what they can agree on at the meeting.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

My JP wife is critical of me for not wearing the mask in public. If I saw proof from a scientific study with a control group and statistical evidence that wearing such mask reduced the risk of contracting the flu then I would consider it. I just find them extremely uncomfortable.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

I’m wondering if Premium Friday and wearing unsightly floral shirts could help in the fight.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

 Instead of real proactive procedures, like for example cleaning and disinfecting all surfaces in trains people hold on to at the end of stations, regular desinfection of hand rails (escalators especially) in train stations and elsewhere, panels for ticket vending and ATMs, surfaces in reception areas etc, etc, etc

Those are not useful nor effective, unless you have staff constantly disinfecting surface 24/7 it would be useless because after the first person touches it it has to be considered contaminated. Cost is hugely higher than the very limited benefit.

There is a lot of personnel at train stations, banks and institutions who just stand around and do nothing in particular (the numerous security guards for example) who could do that job. Instead of handing out free tissues, it would be also a good idea to hand out disinfectant tissues so that everybody can wipe touch panels before and after use. Of course there is always the option of doing nothing and wait and see, the preferred option.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

If you do not know basis biology, you are doomed, if thousand of people in Tokyo starting getting sick,blaming China or Chinese is not gonna help the situation, you are just expressing your insecurities, only way to confront this virus, is through logical and a reason approach

1 ( +4 / -3 )

I used to know a doctor who would say, “You have influenza!” No matter what your symptoms were, and who would then give you the same pills as someone who had had a heart attack. We are all in good hand, I’m sure.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Farmboy,better stock on Tamuflu,Japan do have enough ventilator, for everybody,

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

If you feel more comfortable wearing a mask, wear one. Most important thing is to wash your hands properly. No mask can make up a lack of proper hygiene.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

@virusrex

This would give almost no benefit, the infection do not enter by the hands, so there is no point in avoiding contaminating your hands, the risk comes when your hands transport the contaminated materials to your face, and cotton gloves are perfectly fine for this, so for the purpose of this epidemic they have no use.

I don't wear gloves because it stops infections; I wear gloves because the handles are gross!

Did you not read my whole post?

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Aly RustomToday  08:09 am JST

my wife was telling me last night that she read on the news that there are some countries now cancelling flights to and from Japan- that they are treating Japan in a similar manner as China. That its getting really bad here.

Aly RustomToday  08:19 am JST

Although I can't find anything online on that issue...

This is how "fake news" spreads.

That's why I added the last line.

-3 ( +5 / -8 )

The question lies, is fart pandemic?

No disrespect but wonder.

Coming back home from Brighton today by train, I cleaned my hands to my wrists with soap, washed my face then rinsed my mouth with water for a good measure.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

There is a lot of personnel at train stations, banks and institutions who just stand around and do nothing in particular (the numerous security guards for example)

Because security is never necessary? Lets bring out also every policeman in the kobans, and maybe the ambulance drivers and firemen? they are also just standing there doing nothing most of the time right?

 it would be also a good idea to hand out disinfectant tissues so that everybody can wipe touch panels before and after use.

A simple disposable tissue do the same function, contamination never reach the hand and its much cheaper.

The problem? people don't do much more easier and effective measures, such as proper hand-washing, so expecting them to do more complicated and expensive measures is not realistic.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

I used to know a doctor who would say, “You have influenza!” No matter what your symptoms were, and who would then give you the same pills as someone who had had a heart attack. We are all in good hand, I’m sure.

So we can assume he was selected for the govt expert panel meetings to address this situation?

2 ( +4 / -2 )

The keyword of this guideline is for one TO CALL government appointed health centers first instead of goin straight to medical clinics .

This is very practical to minimize spreading the infection.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

The Government of Japan needs to strongly impress on the Government of China to fully/candidly revel the origins of COVID-19!!!!!

No more no less.

And allow the global medical/scientific community full access to every/all the available data/patients/carriers.

If the 2020 Summer Olympics proceeds ahead as planned, without assurances pertaining to a fully published risk assessment, with all the necessary available data.

Companies will have no opinion other that to move there staff offshore.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Why did this cruise ship continue its voyage when the Coronavirus was beginning to spread?

Does it take something like this before they stop? Reschedule trips for next year.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

I feel empathy towards the many clerks who work in the stores i.e. grocery, convenience stores etc that deal directly with many people daily and yet aside from the mask they are still handling items as they ring up products without no gloves. This nurse possibly was not wearing any gloves aside the mask and either exposed herself by handling the items the patient was using. By the way the anti bacterial lotion does not work against a virus just bacteria.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

@itsonlyrocknroll

The Government of Japan needs to strongly impress on the Government of China to fully/candidly revel the origins of COVID-19!!!!!

Though the research is not published yet (about to), researchers are suspecting the source of the virus are Pangolins. The information that the new coronavirus came from bats are just suspicion also, because SARS (also a coronavirus) came from bats.

'COVID-19' is the name of the disease. The name of the virus that causes the disease is 'SARS-CoV-2' (the official name of the novel coronavirus).

0 ( +1 / -1 )

The designated health centers are of no help if you suspect you have coronavirus.

In order to be qualify as a potential SARS-CoV-2 carrier, you must have the symptoms such as fever and respiratory problems plus you must satisfy one of the conditions below.

Must have had direct contact with a confirmed infected person.

Had made close contact with people that came from Hubei or Zheijang.

In other words, if you are symptomatic but do not satisfy the conditions above, just think of it as common cold or some flu.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Does this mean I can get a day off for my cold? Ha

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

People trying to berate the system and run away from the virus while there are medical staff and personnel risking their lives to keep you all safe. Trust the system,take precautions and leave the rest to your immunity and fate. Neftlix and chill..

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Looks like all the quarantine really accomplished was to assure that the virus stayed on board, but even that didn't work - everyone on board, doctors and nurses included, was exposed to the virus at some level. Soon there will be hundreds more cases. No good options, here.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/feb/17/coronavirus-japan-braces-for-hundreds-more-cases-as-another-china-city-locked-down

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I need proof. Solid proof! Evidence.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

The keyword of this guideline is for one TO CALL government appointed health centers first instead of going straight to medical clinics .

This is very practical to minimize spreading the infection.

Yes, but there is a tiny practical problem with coming right after :

[...] for four days [...] to contact by phone nationwide health-care centers in charge of responding to the outbreak. [...]The period is shorter at two days for the elderly and those with underlying conditions such as diabetes [...]

[...]

Kato also asked individuals who have developed cold-like symptoms to keep track of their temperature and refrain from going to work or school.

Thus, before being able to call the health center you have to wait 2 or 4 days, seems logic to restrain hypocondriac&co. But during this time you have to refrain of going to work or school, thus you have to go to the doctor with potentially mild symptom to get an stating you can not go to work for at least 4 days, manage to get you boss to show understanding and bear the economical cost (attestation, no pay, salary cut, bonus cut, job loss, ...). Well, I think that is good for people not in job. For the other ones, that will depend of their company and/or their work condition.

Potential improvement :

free attestation

law redeeming void any contract close putting burden (financial, compensatory working time, ... ) on people (no matter their status in the company) taking day off (paid or not) for health issue

heavy fine to any company taking retaliatory measure against people taking day off over health issue

= and just make these permanent

For the current situation,an emergency measure allowing in distance check up could help or anything to make it possible for people to be acknowledged as unhealthy without having to come accross a medical facility full of elder (worker included).

0 ( +0 / -0 )

My Mrs is coming back to Japan from Australia early next month to renew her 90 day visa. She and I both are genuinely concerned. She will be buying ‘quality’ masks in Australia before she goes and changing them at least hourly. Japan’s effort to stop the spread of this virus has obviously been inappropriate and unsuccessful.

3 ( +7 / -4 )

At the bottom of the page:

https://www.mhlw.go.jp/stf/seisakunitsuite/bunya/kenkou_iryou/covid19-kikokusyasessyokusya.html

which has a great Q/A

Q) Is there a prevention method?

A) First of all, as a general hygiene measure, as well as the measures against colds and seasonal influenza, we ask that you work on basic infection measures such as cough etiquette, hand washing, gargle, and alcohol disinfection

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Japan’s effort to stop the spread of this virus has obviously been inappropriate and unsuccessful.

but in all fairness to Japan, this is pretty much the same as most other countries, most countries so far have probably been lucky and I doubt very much that these figures we see each day are all that accurate

2 ( +2 / -0 )

@hooktrunk2

Ever made a mess of your hands while coughing or sneezing? What do you do if you are on a train? 

If you're on a train, bus etc, what you do is cough/sneeze into your elbow. If you get a nasty little patch of something on your elbow you can wipe it off at the earliest chance (grab some toilet paper at the nearest public toilet, if you haven't been thoughtful to carry tissues).

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Excuse me marcelito? Are you referring to me?

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Including in the number the people in the cruise is stupid and it creates only confusion about the real spread of the virus in Japan.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Researchers are suspecting the source of the virus are Pangolins. 

Needlessly slaughtered for their scales which sell for a fortune. Hopefully some good will come out of this mess; Chinese apothecaries may be more reluctant to pillage the world's endangered species to supply their stupid medicinal practices.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I think most of the Countries are not taking proper efforts, but also those that are doing apparently like that, are failing. I read South Korea is taking very restrictive procedures that would be considered controversial here in the West for human rights, but also this way it is having some cases of people who never had any relationship with China. So honestly, I think virus are simply "smarter" than us human beings.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

My JP wife is critical of me for not wearing the mask in public. If I saw proof from a scientific study with a control group and statistical evidence that wearing such mask reduced the risk of contracting the flu then I would consider it. I just find them extremely uncomfortable.

I don't think that Japanese people are interested in actual scientific evidence in quite the same way - it is as much an act of social compliance.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Folks, don't worry!

The Japanese Government knows what they are talking about (maybe).

Whether they know what they are doing ..... I got my doubts (definitely).

1 ( +1 / -0 )

This is how "fake news" spreads.

How's THIS for fake news?

https://www.google.co.jp/amp/s/www.sankeibiz.jp/macro/amp/200217/mcb2002171826016-a.htm

https://www.google.co.jp/amp/s/www3.nhk.or.jp/news/html/20200205/amp/k10012273581000.html

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

@Dr Maybe

If you're on a train, bus etc, what you do is cough/sneeze into your elbow. If you get a nasty little patch of something on your elbow you can wipe it off at the earliest chance

Uh...Gross. 'Maybe', but I will still wear a mask.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

“I’m waiting to see if I have the Coronavirus

0 ( +0 / -0 )

just add 88 more to 542 as of today

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Very funny, theFu! But I think the Government is still in pre-meeting meetings to figure out what they can agree on at the meeting.

Yes, it was sarcasm, but I didn't want to have it deleted for "Japan bashing."

IME working inside a J-corp, there were a week of 3-meetings a day, to plan for about 10 hrs of work. The goal was less about what would be done than giving everyone, from any possible department, the ability to say no or raise issues.

I was hesitant to say how long the meetings would require before the plan was released, since everyone knows that govts are even more efficient than any business.

Perhaps the have the seating chart set now?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Wearing masks reduces the risk of infection for everyone. If everyone is wearing masks there will be a lot less airborne contaminants.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

In unveiling the medical guidance, health minister Katsunobu Kato said at a press conference that people with colds or influenza tend to see their health recover after three to four days on average while those infected with the virus do not.

Whaaaat?

You recover from influenza in 3 to 4 days????

The real flu (Influenza) lasts for 10 days.

What is this health minister? Outrageous!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

ianToday  09:38 pm JST

Wearing masks reduces the risk of infection for everyone. If everyone is wearing masks there will be a lot less airborne contaminants.

Obviously only if you are sick and cannot cough/sneeze in your elbow or a tissue.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Obviously only if you are sick and cannot cough/sneeze in your elbow or a tissue.

You can be infectious even if not obviously sick and obviously not everyone coughs /sneezes properly =)

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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