Tobias J Gibson comments

Posted in: Tokyo reports 258 new cases of coronavirus; nationwide total 1,014 See in context

33 people in hospital. Just goes to show how benign COVID has become.

To be fair, that is number of serious patients, defined has requiring ECMO or ventilators. These patients are generally those who have been admitted and conditions worsen over an average 10 day period:

stopcovid19.metro.tokyo.lg.jp

I would imagine when this number declines, it is at least partly due to deaths rather than recovery.

That said, as you have pointed out, active cases continue to declining, and the r0 is now below 1, which are promising signs. I agree with Elvis that this is likely due to a large majority taking personal prevention measures following the surge. I hope that this continues long enough to suppress the virus sufficiently so it can be managed effectively. If fatigue or complacency comes too quickly, there will likely be another surge, with a higher baseline, and this game of up and down will go on indefinitely.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Posted in: Japan's re-entry ban to contain virus unfair, Western business lobbies say See in context

Antiquesaving, I know I probably shouldn't get drawn into this, but could you provide citations or references when you make claims as to facts. For example, this is a link to all the judicial review cases for the Japanese Supreme Court:

https://rb.gy/hhw7jj

As far as I can see, none of these deal with freedom of entry by citizens, quarantines, lockdowns or other restrictions of this nature. Furthermore, while it is true that the executive branch of the Japanese government (i.e. Abe in his capacity as prime minister) does not have legal authority to impose these restrictions prima facie, the constitution specifically empowers the legislature (i.e. the Diet) to enact law or make orders which would allow that action, provided it is in the overriding interest of the public welfare. I also believe that neither Abe or Koike have made any blanket statement directly about constitutionality; that was introduced into the discourse by third parties. And of course, there are all sorts of politics behind this, better explained here:

https://www.tokyoreview.net/2020/05/covid-19-collective-action-and-japans-constitution/

Again, the whole ethical issue of whether its right, as well as questions of efficacy are another issue. I am just pointing out that on this specific issue it appears otherwise.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Posted in: Osaka tops Tokyo as Japan reports 1,070 more coronavirus infections See in context

I agree, the last week of reporting has been encouraging. Besides deaths, which obviously lag behind other metrics, there is a undeniable downward trend. Personally, i believe it is attributable to a majority of individuals taking personal action following the reporting in mid-July. I sincerely hope that in lieu of any government guidance or action, that continues to be the case. As we saw following the SoE, when there was a decline, it was treated as a victory and complacency led to resurgence. I am concerned that due to fatigue with personal protection measures, lack of strong guidance and support from authorities, and economic pressures, people will returned to the behavioural patterns of June which allowed resurgence, leading to a kinda of resurgent cycle, each time lifting the baseline of cases and deaths.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Posted in: Japan's re-entry ban to contain virus unfair, Western business lobbies say See in context

Antiquesaving, I think you misunderstood. Articles are the the provisions of the constitution, like the sections in a statute. I was asking where in the constitution it refers to what you claim.

I didn't actually make any assertion either way as to whether there should be restrictions quarantines, simply saying it is not a constitutional issue. The Japanese government is empowered to place such restrictions if it is in the public welfare. It may be challenged on constitutional grounds, but I suspect the court would side with the government.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Posted in: Japan's re-entry ban to contain virus unfair, Western business lobbies say See in context

Could you point to those articles in the Japanese constitution which either prevent mandatory quarantines or lockdowns for nationals?

The nearest I can find is article 13, which specifically includes a limitation for public welfare:

*All of the people shall be respected as individuals. Their right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness shall, to the extent that it does not interfere with the public welfare, be the supreme consideration in legislation and in other governmental affairs*.

A wider reading, supported by constitutional scholars and historic acts, indicates that there is authority:

https://www.japantimes.co.jp/opinion/2020/04/14/commentary/japan-commentary/coronavirus-japans-constitution/

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Posted in: Japan's re-entry ban to contain virus unfair, Western business lobbies say See in context

Wonder what their policy is ? Can foreign investors enter the respective countries hurdle free ?

Even New Zealand ?

Most of these countries policies are available online. 'Foreign investors' is a bit vague; it would depend on their residency/visa status I imagine. For example, in New Zealand, the following people may enter without seeking prior approval:

New Zealand citizens, permanent residents and residents with valid travel conditions (excluding people granted a resident visa outside New Zealand and who are travelling to New Zealand on that resident visa for the first time).

Partners, dependent children (aged 19 years or under if they hold a temporary visa or 24 and under if they hold a resident visa) of New Zealand citizens or residents who hold a visa based on their relationship with a New Zealand citizen or resident partner or parent.

In addition, the following people may apply for an exception to the entry ban:

Partners, dependent children (aged 19 years or under) or legal guardians of New Zealand citizens or residents who do not hold a visa based on their relationship and either are travelling with their New Zealand citizen or resident family member, or ordinarily reside in New Zealand.

Partners and dependent children (aged 19 years and under) who hold a valid visitor, work or student visa and are normally resident in New Zealand, if they are the partner or child of a work or student visa holder who is currently in New Zealand.

Source: https://www.immigration.govt.nz/about-us/covid-19/border-closures-and-exceptions

11 ( +11 / -0 )

Posted in: Japan reports 1,021 new cases of coronavirus on Sunday; 260 in Tokyo See in context

Apologies, I made an error above:

Taiwan:

DPM: 0.30

My original figure (0.03) was deaths per 100,000 population.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Posted in: Japan reports 1,021 new cases of coronavirus on Sunday; 260 in Tokyo See in context

“are examples of countries which have very bad public health results and no demonstrable economic advantage over other countries.”

Got any evidence for your hysteria?

Sigh, sure... as a measure of economic stability I will use GDP quarterly change between the first quarter (January - March) and the second quarter (April - June) (Q2 GDP) and as a measure of public health I will use deaths per million population (DPM). GDP is taken from

Starting with Sweden in comparison to it's Scandinavian neighbors, all of whom implemented fairly significant lockdowns in April and May, and continue to pursue a tentatively reopening with a focus on public health. GDP data from [https://www.businessinsider.co.za/trending/coronavirus-sweden-gdp-falls-8pc-in-q2-worse-nordic-neighbors-2020-8] and DPM from [https://www.statista.com/statistics/1104709/coronavirus-deaths-worldwide-per-million-inhabitants/]:

Sweden:

Q2 GDP: -8.6%

DPM: 567.21

Denmark:

Q2 GDP: -7.4%

DPM: 107.12

Norway:

Q2 GDP: -7.1%

DPM: 48.36

Finland:

Q2 GDP: -3.2%

DPM: 60.35

The U.S is in a similar position to Sweden:

U.S.:

Q2 GDP: -9.5%

DPM: 509.8

Compared to all these countries, Japan looks very good. However, when compared to neighboring countries with similar social and cultural practices, as well as comparable health, dietary and other factors, not so much:

Japan:

Q2 GDP: -7.8%

DPM: 8.48

Taiwan:

Q2 GDP: -0.73%

DPM: 0.03

South Korea:

Q2 GDP: -3.3%

DPM: 5.91

Of course, In fairness, there are countries far worse off than all the above, both economically and in terms of SARS-CoV-2. While there are numerous factors contributing to this situation, I think it is fair to say that, as with the U.S., an inpatient response has allowed resurgence:

Spain:

Q2 GDP: -18.5%

DPM: 612.22

I could go on... but the point is, looking across all the numbers. The actual results so far, it is clear that the 'save the economy' vs 'save lives' dichotomy is false. A controlled lock-down, or at the very least strategy based on restricted activity and control over the virus, actually allows business and individuals to better prepare and weather the inevitable economic impact, rather than the unfounded belief that if we just ignore it and carry on as usual, we will somehow avoid economic impacts.

Anyway, I realize I won't change the minds of most here. I just wish someone would explain the current strategy using actual facts, figures and evidence. Because from what I can see, it doesn't hold up.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Posted in: Japan reports 1,021 new cases of coronavirus on Sunday; 260 in Tokyo See in context

Deaths while higher this month are lower than may, furthermore almost exclusively these deaths are people dying of corona as opposed to a variety of other illnesses they already had, or old age. So it is at worst people dying a little earlier not unexpectedly.

Perhaps I was unclear, I meant 'more deaths, infections and illness' in the sense that these metrics have all been trending up since the change of strategy, which is demonstrated by the data here: https://toyokeizai.net/sp/visual/tko/covid19/en.html. It's is plainly obvious that the lockdown strategy worked, and the change of strategy resulted in a reversal of the downward trend. You are correct, May did have a higher death rate. However, August is the first month since May to see a higher mortality that the month before, and the first 15 days have already seen significantly more deaths than the same period in April. Finally, do you have any evidence that any person who has died of covid-19 would have died 'a little' later in time of some other disease?

The 25% drop in gdp would say otherwise.

Again, I think you missed my point. Every country in the world, regardless of their public health strategy, is facing economic recession as a result of the pandemic. The degree of impact is primarily reflective of the preexisting economic situation in those countries, NOT of their corona response. I will admit, I am not aware of any country which absolutely ignored the virus, so it is difficult to get a picture of what that would look like economically. However, both Sweden (as a country which consciously avoided strict public health measures) and the U.S. (as a country with a mismanaged public health response which was too quickly replaced with an economic protection strategy) are examples of countries which have very bad public health results and no demonstrable economic advantage over other countries.

Studies show that lockdowns have resulted in people dying and going to die from missing cancer diagnosis etc. So eitherway people die. It's brutal but I would rather an 85 year old die from corona than a 40 year old from late cancer diagnosis.

Please provide citations for these studies, and evidence of any death due to any illness which has arisen as direct result of lock-down. I am sure it has happened, but I would guess it would be far less deaths than as a result of the current strategy. Furthermore, in a well managed lockdown, essentially services like health care are still available, so there should be not barrier to cancer diagnosis. And, as a lockdown reduces the number of corona cases and therefore stress on the health system, hospitals should actually better be able to treat other illnesses.

Every obon, people die, yet we as a society some how carry on.

I don't see how preaching a nihilistic interpretation makes your point. You're right, we will all die sometime. Why bother trying to stop any deaths. Also, why bother having children, going to work, doing anything?

Your example illustrates life is short, leaving the elderly locked up alone at home, seems the worst possible way to spend your final days.

In much the same way as everyone else, the elderly are perfectly capable of understanding the need to slow the virus and entertaining themselves for a few months. If there are people who are literally dying of another illness, of course family can visit and say good bye. There can be special circumstances. But for the vast majority of the 60+ people in Japan, they have decades left and it is callous and simply wrong to suggest they are expendable because you do not want to suffer temporary discomfort.

There is no way ahead without economic suffering and discomfort. We may be able to reduce that discomfort if we kill the elderly, however it seems increasingly likely that the gain we make will be minimal. If you want to advocate that path, that's fine. I do not.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

Posted in: Japan reports 1,021 new cases of coronavirus on Sunday; 260 in Tokyo See in context

Monty, I think you may be missing the point.

It's not really about how many cases there are; its about the situation being worse today that it was last week, or last month, or two months ago.

It's about the shift in strategy in May directly correlating to more deaths, infections and illness now. It's about the false narrative that pursuing a public health focused strategy is economically unviable, when there is no evidence, domestically or internationally, that a 'learn-to-live-with-it' strategy has any advantage economically or otherwise.

It's about the idea that 'acceptable mortality' amongst the elderly is preferable to the inconvenience of a temporary loss of liberty and temporary financial burden.

It's about individuals sharing stories of recent travel or visiting elderly relatives during Obon, when at least 75 people have spent this period burying their loved ones as a direct result of the failure to contain the spread of this virus since the first lockdown ended in May.

That's what it's about.

1 ( +6 / -5 )

Posted in: Sports teams see virus clusters as cases in Tokyo, Osaka remain high See in context

@Yubaru

Sorry, I didn't mean to offend you, but the r0 of 1.05 is based on Japan as a whole. Individual prefectures have localized variance; the r0 in Okinawa as of August 10th is 1.53.

I live in Aichi, which has also seen it's infections skyrocket recently, so I understand. However, if you read my entire post, you will see I am advocating against the current strategy. If you choose to make enemies of those trying to ally with you, you will have a much harder time advocating for Okinawa.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Posted in: Sports teams see virus clusters as cases in Tokyo, Osaka remain high See in context

The good news is that there is a downward trend in Tokyo as of August 10th, and wider Japan is close to seeing a downward trend, with an r0 of 1.05 based on the last 7 days. Of course, PCR testing is also way down following August 5th, most likely as a result of the Obon holidays.

With regard to deaths, unfortunately its not good news. July's total deaths were 37 for all Japan, whereas August has already seen 41 deaths as of August 10th. This is the first monthly increase in deaths since the SoE. The week between Monday, August 3rd and Sunday, August 9th, is also the deadliest week for corona since the last week of May (25th - 31st).

https://toyokeizai.net/sp/visual/tko/covid19/en.html

Ultimately, it comes back to leadership. The central government has decided that it will continue with its current strategy of encouraging economic activity (or, at least, not actively discouraging risk behavior). This position translates down to how individuals conduct themselves, from schools and sports teams, to commuters, and so on. It appears to be counter-intuitive according to the data. We can take personal measures, of course, however there is enough evidence now from multiple countries that central leadership is prerequisite to the pandemic response. The situation has not escalated to the point prior to the previous SoE, and so without strong messaging and strategy to direct people, we can only continue as we are until such a time as the numbers do require strong executive action, or don't, in which case I suppose we continue in this half limbo where cases kind of float around, and economic activity remains suppressed. Worst of both worlds.

4 ( +7 / -3 )

Posted in: Tokyo reports 429 new virus cases; numbers up in Kanagawa, Saitama See in context

Recent evidence does suggest long term herd immunity can be achieved without vaccination.

Thank you for providing those videos, which also included links to the relevant reporting and studies.

Both videos raise excellent points regarding immunity, particularly with regard to encouraging evidence of at least partial immunity with respect to T cell immunity from exposure to other beta-coronaviruses, and how this can account somewhat for the significant variance in infection severity for covid-19.

These videos do support the notion that recovery from covid-19 does confer long term individual immunity (at least partial).

Herd immunity is a different concept to individual immunity, however. Even assuming those studies are true in all cases, and there is lifelong immunity to covid-19, in order to achieve herd immunity around 60% (taking a low end estimate) needs to be infected and recovery. In Japan that would be around 75 million people. Even if measures were taken to direct that natural infection path to those at lowest risk, with the mortality rate of 0.2%, 151200 of those infected would die. Furthermore, as we other diseases which are suppressed by herd immunity, invariable flare ups would continue to occur were immunity levels dropped below 60%, in the same way measles outbreaks occur where vaccination levels drop. Without a vaccine, it would be necessary to isolate the elderly and vulnerable from new borns or those without immunity.

Its an option I guess...

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Posted in: Tokyo reports 429 new virus cases; numbers up in Kanagawa, Saitama See in context

Herd immunity is happening and will happen, again whether we like it or not.

Do you have any citations to back this up? Herd immunity for other viruses has been acheived primarily through vaccination. Furthermore, there is insufficient data as to the duration and quality of natural immunity to determine whether herd immunity is possible. Here are several articles which support this:

https://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2020/07/24/894148860/without-a-vaccine-researchers-say-herd-immunity-may-never-be-achieved

https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/coronavirus/in-depth/herd-immunity-and-coronavirus/art-20486808

https://www.washingtonpost.com/graphics/2020/health/coronavirus-herd-immunity-simulation-vaccine/

I accept many believe this virus is not a public health threat; that the mortality rate and health impacts do not justify any action. Freedom of opinion is important. However, it us important to realise that those opinions are not founded in objective research and consensus of expert opinion.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

Posted in: Abe says no need for another state of emergency over coronavirus See in context

@Bruce

Thank you for those links.

@Luis

This study does observe excess mortality of between 50 - 60 cases for January through April 2020.

As the study further notes:

一方で、同時期に新型コロナウイルス感染症以外を原因とする死亡(例えば、交通事故死、自殺、インフルエンザ等他の感染症による死亡)が過去の同時期より減少した場合、新型コロナウイルス感染症を直接死因とする超過死亡を相殺することがあり得る。 

Roughly translated as:

If deaths due to causes other than new coronavirus (for example, death from traffic accident, suicide, death due to other infectious diseases such as influenza) decreased during this time, it is possible that deaths due to the new coronavirus are offset with regard to excess mortality.

With regard to death from traffic accident alone, there were 41 fewer deaths for the months January through April 2020 than the same period in 2019:

https://www.e-stat.go.jp/en/stat-search/files?page=1&layout=datalist&toukei=00130002&tstat=000001032727&cycle=1&year=20200&month=12040605

Furthermore, the peak in deaths for the corona virus occurred in May, which was not covered by this survey:

https://toyokeizai.net/sp/visual/tko/covid19/en.html

All that said, I agree that Japan had been successful at limited mortality and spread of the new coronavirus up until the end of June 2020. Looking at the statistics, it appears the biggest impact was the SoE. The situation now appears to be changing, and the current strategy is failing as cases, hospitalizations and deaths are all trending up. I understand we are not yet at the same level we were in April/May, however I believe it would prudent to act prior to reaching that level.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Japan sees fewer COVID-19 hospital deaths than other nations: study See in context

So many posters rush to reject good news but believe every negative story irrespective of validity.

I agree, and vice versa. My take looking at the statistics and reporting to date is that Japan initially performed better than average at limiting the spread and impact of the virus through to mid-June, with mortality relatively average on a global scale, and slightly below average on an East Asia scale. Following policy and strategic changes from early May, late June saw the situation escalate in Japan to where it is now performing below average on controlling spread, while mortality and serious cases (icu) remain fairly average for the world generally. Basically its pretty average here, but appears to be heading in the wrong direction. It may or may not result in Japan moving toward the situations seen in the 'losing' countries. However, if Japan really wants to be an example to the world of 'winning' (i find the whole idea of winning and losing comparisons distasteful) then the current strategy is not working.

10 ( +11 / -1 )

Posted in: Japan sees fewer COVID-19 hospital deaths than other nations: study See in context

i@n

Okay, sorry, the more I contribute here the more paranoid I become regarding posts it seems! But it is strangely addictive, and at least it motivates me to research more which, if nothing else, actually helps me feel more in control of my life.

I do wish these articles would link to the studies though... I have a bit more time, but I'd rather not spend it stalking Google...

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Posted in: Japan sees fewer COVID-19 hospital deaths than other nations: study See in context

The study's findings are consistent with well known info regarding the most at risk part of population

i@n, do you have a link for the study? I would be interested to see the findings and the methodology.

But of course our imaginings and suppositions has more weight and far more credible, the result is clearly wrong and misleading, right?

As I point out in my post, I found the reporting to be unclear and incomplete, so I attempted to add context. I apologize if this appeared to be 'imaginings' or 'supposition', although I do give citations for the data, and preface my conclusion with 'In my opinion', meant to indicate that the proceeding is my own opinion.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Posted in: Abe says no need for another state of emergency over coronavirus See in context

There is something called the "excess mortality rate", which compares mortality of the current year, current month with an average of all the recorded years.

Excess mortality is actually one of the best tools to calculate the extend of a pandemic.

Currently there is no out of normal excess mortality in Japan.

Luis, do you have a link for the excess mortality data for Japan for this year? I have seen reporting on this, but cannot find the data itself.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Japan sees fewer COVID-19 hospital deaths than other nations: study See in context

This article makes a good point acknowledging the covid-19 death rate in Japan is not spiraling out of control.

However, as the article notes, criteria for hospitalization vary from country to country, which is an important factor. In Japan, all confirmed positive cases were required to be hospitalized until late-May, when asymptomatic and mild cases where moved to lodgings or allowed to return home:

https://www.mhlw.go.jp/content/10900000/000634753.pdf

This effectively means deaths per hospitalized case in Japan is more comparable with deaths per case in other countries. By this metric, Japan is somewhat average in comparison to other countries, sitting at 2.43%:

https://www.realclearpolitics.com/coronavirus/#!

Furthermore, as of June 1, there were 889 confirmed deaths from covid-19 in Japan between March 1st and June 1st; https://toyokeizai.net/sp/visual/tko/covid19/en.html.

This article reports that the study found there was a 7.5% death rate amongst 2600 people hospitalized at around 230 facilities between March and June, which accounts for 195 deaths. So clearly 694 people died at hospitals not included in the study. Excluding the majority of deaths during the period in questions seems dubious. I have not read the study itself, however, so I can't comment on methodology.

The article also makes a point of comparison to Britain and New York, which are widely known to be the worst affected pandemic hotspots in the world. It would be more apt to compare Japan to it's East Asian neighbors or countries of similar size or geography:

China CFR 5.48%

Japan CFR 2.43%

South Korea CFR 2.08%

Philippines CFR 1.80%

Taiwan CFR 1.47%

New Zealand CFR 1.40%

The inevitable reply to these statistics is that CFR is a poor metric, because it favors countries that do wide testing and thereby have a high number of asymptomatic or mild cases which push down the CFR. For example, the U.S. is widely accepted to have one of the worst death rates in the world, however it only has a CFR of 3.24% thanks to 5 million cases having been identified in over 63 million PCR tests. In this case, many point to deaths per million population as a preferable metric:

Philippines DPM 20.2

Japan DPM 8.1

South Korea DPM 5.8

New Zealand DPM 4.5

China DPM 3.3

Taiwan DPM 0.3

 Swedes also remove shoes, and they are also doing relatively well.

Sweden CFR 7.03% DPM 566.2

In my opinion, Japan had a low incidence of cases through to July 2020, due to strong contact tracing, pre-existing behaviors around personal prevention, and the SoE. In terms of mortality, Japan has been pretty average in terms of the global situation, and one of the worse in terms of the East Asia region. The previous strategy has now begun to fail, due to a false sense of security based on early success and rapid reopening. As a result cases are increasing more rapidly and more widely throughout Japan. There is a real possibility that the situation regarding mortality could worsen, based on has happened in countries that faced similar situations. The government has chosen to take a reactive approach regarding a further SoE; essentially wait and see. That is clearly its job to decide. I am just hoping we don't become one of those countries other places compare themselves to in an effort to seem like they are fine.

15 ( +15 / -0 )

Posted in: Tokyo reports 309 new coronavirus cases; nationwide tally tops 1,000 See in context

Sorry:

This was the original post, which gives raw new case data for six consecutive [Tuesdays], and notes that the is an upward trend.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Posted in: Tokyo reports 309 new coronavirus cases; nationwide tally tops 1,000 See in context

Trending up. Here are the past six Tuesdays: 31, 54, 106, 143, 237, 266. And today: 309.

This was the original post, which gives raw new case data for six consecutive Sundays, and notes that the is an upward trend.

Is it? Here are the week-to-week increases based on your numbers...

This is the response, which clearly refutes the claim of an upward trend in the number of cases by use of rhetoric question proceeded by demonstrating a downward trend in the rate of increase in case numbers, an entirely different metric.

I was pointing out, that even if the rate of increase is on a downward trend, it is still increasing. Of course, both metrics have value. As you point out, rate of infection (r0) is an important metric when considering whether measures are effective. However, raw data on the number of cases is also important to put that in context. For example, cases rose 96% when comparing data for weeks 2 and 3, however that only translates to 52 cases. Whereas, the 16% increase between weeks 5 and 6 translates to 43 cases.

Most importantly, I believe it is not helpful to, at best, omit, or, at worst, misrepresent data to try to indicate that the virus is not increasing in Tokyo and wider Japan, or vice versa. Both 'teams' here frequently cherry pick data, especially when trying to prove the other wrong. It's intellectually dishonest. I'm just fact checking what people actually submit.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Posted in: Tokyo reports 309 new coronavirus cases; nationwide tally tops 1,000 See in context

i@n

The r0 is itself a numerical representation of the trend in number of cases. For example, if the r0 is 1.5 it means for every current active case, there will be 1.5 new cases, i.e. cases will increase in number. So while it is correct to say the r0 is trending down, as long as it is above one it only represents a slowing upward trend in actual cases, not a downward trend in cases.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Posted in: Tokyo reports 309 new coronavirus cases; nationwide tally tops 1,000 See in context

Sorry, html issue. Should read an upward trend is indicated by a r0 greater than 1.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Posted in: Tokyo reports 309 new coronavirus cases; nationwide tally tops 1,000 See in context

Is it? Here are the week-to-week increases based on your numbers...

74% Week 1-2

96% Week 2-3

35% Week 3-4

65% Week 4-5

12% Week 5-6

16% Week 6 - NOW

A positive percentage increase (or r0 1) is still an upward trend. A flat trend, or plateau, would be indicated by 0% increase (r0 of 1). So while your post presents the data in a different form, it doesn't invalidate the claim of an upward trend. Nice try though.

4 ( +8 / -4 )

Posted in: Japan 1st quarter GDP unchanged at 2.2% annualized contraction See in context

To fair Larr Flint, you are comparing Japan's first quarter GDP (Jan to Mar) to the U.S and worlds second quarter reporting (April to June).

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Posted in: Gov't will not ask people to forgo summer travel due to virus, Suga says See in context

The remarks came as the government struggles to balance the need to reopen the economy while keeping the spread of the coronavirus in check.

Please. The governments current strategy is minimalist intervention on both fronts. The virus is spreading relatively unhindered apart from personal prevention measures. The economy is open in every regard apart from international tourism. Perhaps that is the best strategy; many commentators here seem to think so. I admit, the fact that there has been minimal economic contraction in Japan surprised me, although thanks to both luck and the short SOE, Japan has largely avoided significant impact from the virus.

I personally still believe that the spread of the virus will drive down consumer confidence, delay resumption of tourism and in turn damage the economy. I also maintain that the function of the government is to balance the free market economy by imposing regulation for public health and welfare, not to protect the economy at the cost of its citizens. However, I will admit, if Japans luck holds and the virus does not spiral out of control, maybe it will get away with this current strategy. Lets hope the lessons learnt dont color the response when the next threat looms.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

Posted in: Japan confirms 1,512 new coronavirus infections See in context

Ok, so lets have some follow-up. How many of those that tested positive were showing symptoms!? How many were randomly tested? How many are in ICU? No? Too much to ask?

I am not sure if is true in every municipality, but both my city of residency and that I work in offer this information on the city website. I wont link either, for privacy reasons.

For example, here is a extract from information available for a recent patient in the city in which I work (translated via Chrome translate):

20's

gender male

Overseas travel history Within 14 days None

Onset date July 18

Positive confirmation date July 22

Main symptoms such as fever, cough, sore throat, headache, malaise, diarrhea

Severity Mild

no special instruction

My home city offers less information, for example no 'onset date', but is mostly the same. One thing I have noted is that while some patients identified via contract tracing (indicated under special instruction) are listed as having no symptoms, the majority are listed as mild symptoms, a few of which have further descriptions like the patient above.

The information is readily available with a fairly simple google search; there is no great conspiracy to portray the virus as worse or better than it really is.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Posted in: Japan reports record new coronavirus infections for 3rd straight day See in context

Realistically, the debate here is purely academic, and rather repetitive. Leaving aside speculation and projections about mortality and possible ongoing medical effects (and their related costs), I think there are three broad possible scenarios going forward:

The government changes course and declares a SOE, or, more extremely, legislates changes to the constitution to permit a lockdown. Testing and tracing remains in place, but due to restrictions, cases can be properly isolated and the virus is contained and managed, possibly eliminated. This likely takes 2 - 3 months given the currently spread of the virus. The economy is severely hobbled, requiring extreme government investment post restrictions to restart the economy, however recovery is relatively fast given that consumer confidence is unimpeded by concern over the virus. Tourism resumes after 4 to 6 months with countries in similar positions (e.g NZ)

The government abandons limited testing and pursues widespread, public testing. Testing is continually increased to the point where 80% of the population can be tested with a 2 -3 month period. The virus is removed from the designated infectious disease list and those with minor infections are told to self quarantine. Hospital capacity is boosted to accommodate those with more severe symptoms. The cost to the government is astronomical. Economic activity remains depressed for 6 to 8 weeks minimum, until consumer confidence slowly begins to increase as testing is more readily available and infections are visible controlled and isolated. Tourism resume after 6 to 9 months with countries in similar positions (e.g. S.Korea)

The government continues to pursue its current half baked strategy, and the virus naturally attenuates, reaches a point.of herd immunity, or a viable vaccine is developed and distributed. Timeframe is around 6-8 months minimum, if ever for any of those outcomes. The economy bottoms out due to decreasing consumer confidence, impact on trade and tourism, and the necessity of the public taking its own measures to avoid infection. By far the most costly, both in terms in public health and the economy.

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Posted in: Tokyo may pay restaurants, bars to shorten hours in August amid spike in virus cases See in context

Even though, infections (many other too) have been recognized as significant causes of cardiac diseases for many decades now, this particular study results recommend further research needed.

I agree. In fact, given, as you state, that 'infections have been recognised as significant causes of cardiac diseases for many decades', I propose that while further research is being conducted into the long-term effects of a highly infectious, novel strain of virus, it would be a prudent public health and economic position to limit is spread amongst the population.

It would probably be both more ethical and ultimately less expensive than dealing with a generation shouldered with cardiac, respiratory or vascular complications from a pandemic event in their 20s.

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