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COVID-19 Coronavirus: situation in Japan

Lothor

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Yesterday, it was reported that another strain of the coronavirus had been detected in four individuals that arrived in Haneda from Brazil. That strain is different from the British and South African variant. However, it is not clear yet whether it is more infectious.


Meanwhile, the Japanese government has decided to extend the SoE to Osaka, Kyoto, Hyogo, Aichi, and Gifu prefectures. PM Suga will make a declaration tomorrow.

I'm a bit mystified by the emphasis being placed on this story in the news. From what I understand, Covid-19 has been mutating ever since it was first discovered, as viruses do, and it's only recently become newsworthy because of the increased infectiousness of the new strains that originated in the UK and South Africa. There is no evidence so far that this new strain is more infectious than other strains (Scientists detect new strain of coronavirus in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil), so this reads a little like "New foreign strain invades Japan!" As we do.
 

thomas

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As long as vaccines are not widely available, the coronavirus and each of its new mutations will remain newsworthy. I hope that in the future its scare level will be down to that of the influenza virus (which is still quite deadly despite vaccination).
 

thomas

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The weekly update: numbers are down, due to reduced testing at the weekend, Kanagawa has almost as many infections as Tokyo.


Nationwide infections:

06/01 (Wed)07/01 (Thu)08/01 (Fri)09/01 (Sat)10/01 (Son)11/01 (Mon)12/01 (Tue)
6,001​
7,533​
7,882​
7,790​
6.094​
4,876​
4,535​

Nationwide deaths - Seriously Ill:

06/01 (Wed)07/01 (Thu)08/01 (Fri)09/01 (Sat)10/01 (Son)11/01 (Mon)12/01 (Tue)
65 - 784​
65 - 796​
66 - 826​
75 - 827​
64 - 852​
64 - 864​
64 - 881​

Infections in selected prefectures:

06/01 (Wed)07/01 (Thu)08/01 (Fri)09/01 (Sat)10/01 (Son)11/01 (Mon)12/01 (Tue)
Tokyo
1.591​
2.447​
2.392​
2.268​
1.494​
1.219​
970​
Osaka
560​
607​
654​
647​
532​
480​
374​
Hokkaido
115​
161​
181​
215​
188​
135​
145​
Aichi
364​
461​
405​
362​
343​
198​
13​
Kanagawa
591​
679​
838​
999​
729​
695​
906​
Chiba
311​
450​
455​
477​
388​
340​
415​
Saitama
394​
460​
496​
518​
414​
347​
261​
Hyogo
248​
284​
297​
324​
269​
154​
161​
Okinawa
72​
66​
82​
70​
74​
41​
?​

 

thomas

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Today, the government extended the SoE to seven prefectures: Osaka, Kyoto, Hyogo, Aichi, Gifu, Tochigi and Fukuoka, including 11 prefectures in total.


Tokyo reported 1.433 new cases based on 2,684 tests conducted on 10 January.


Does this really translate into a positivity rate of over 50% ???
 

Uncle Frank

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It makes you wonder if masks are any good at all for protection. I sometimes picture the lab people being so over whelmed , they just say "call them all positive for this week." As a former nurse , I always found gloves , handwashing & not touching your face at all were pretty good protection options.
 

thomas

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Well, at least masks are not ineffective. ;)


Meanwhile, the Japanese goverment announced that foreign residents who disregard the 14-day quarantine will be deported!

For Japanese and resident foreigners who are allowed to enter, Yasutoshi Nishimura, minister in charge of the country's coronavirus response, said it will require them to sign a pledge upon arrival to stay in quarantine for 14 days, and violating it would result in penalties, such as disclosing the names of violators.

In addition, foreign residents who breach the 14-day quarantine rule will have their resident status revoked and be subject to deportation, Nishimura said at a separate press conference.

He said the new measures will be taken from Thursday because of a recent case where a man who returned from Britain dined with multiple people during his 14-day self-isolation period and caused the spread of a new strain of the virus.


They forgot to mention that the returnee from the UK spreading the new strain was a Japanese national.
 

thomas

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As always, the weekly updates:


Nationwide infections:

13/01 (Wed)14/01 (Thu)15/01 (Fri)16/01 (Sat)17/01 (Son)18/01 (Mon)19/01 (Tue)
5,871​
6,605​
7,133​
7,014​
5.759​
4,925​
5,295​

Nationwide deaths - Seriously Ill:

13/01 (Wed)14/01 (Thu)15/01 (Fri)16/01 (Sat)17/01 (Son)18/01 (Mon)19/01 (Tue)
51 - 900​
88 - 920​
82 - 934​
65 - 965​
66 - 972​
55 - 973​
103 - 1,001​

Infections in selected prefectures:

13/01 (Wed)14/01 (Thu)15/01 (Fri)16/01 (Sat)17/01 (Son)18/01 (Mon)19/01 (Tue)
Tokyo
1.433​
1.502​
2.001​
1.809​
1.592​
1.204​
1.240​
Osaka
536​
592​
568​
629​
464​
431​
525​
Hokkaido
109​
194​
202​
192​
124​
125​
92​
Aichi
319​
312​
352​
323​
218​
151​
247​
Kanagawa
767​
985​
872​
830​
795​
957​
737​
Chiba
422​
488​
504​
503​
428​
363​
487​
Saitama
392​
455​
490​
582​
433​
328​
421​
Hyogo
285​
292​
277​
265​
289​
149​
218​
Okinawa
66​
70​
74​
130​
89​
67​
113​




Taro Kono, administrative and regulatory reform minister, is now responsible for rolling out the vaccines. Pfizer's vaccines are slated to be approved in Japan by mid-February. Why so slow?


New COVID-19 legislature will stipulate fines and prison terms for noncompliance.

Fines of up to 500,000 yen ($4,800) against noncompliant companies and criminal penalties for defiant patients are the main features of revision bills that are heading to the Diet to fight the novel coronavirus. Lawmakers of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party and its coalition partner, Komeito, on Jan. 18 gave the nod to the government bills, which would strengthen restrictions on private rights. The legislation will be submitted to the Diet after gaining Cabinet approval this week. In his policy speech the same day in the Diet, Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga said the bills will enhance the effectiveness of two existing laws: the special measures law to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic and the Infectious Disease Law. The government seeks to enact the amended laws in early February to give authorities more power to ensure businesses and infected patients cooperate in efforts to bring the spreading virus under control. The existing laws do not contain any penalties for refusals to cooperate with requests for cooperation. The revision of the special measures law centers on introducing a maximum administrative penalty of 500,000 yen against businesses that do not comply with orders to close or shorten operating hours under a state of emergency issued by the central government. The revision would also allow prefectural governors to exercise the authority to effectively order restaurants and other establishments to change their operating hours.

Source: COVID-19 bills to impose fines, prison terms for noncompliance : The Asahi Shimbun

Three Shizuoka Prefecture residents were confirmed infected with the novel coronavirus variant found in Britain despite having no travel history to the country.

Source: Japan reports 1st likely community transmission of virus variant : The Asahi Shimbun
 

Lothor

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I'm not commenting on rights and wrongs of this, but it's interesting that there are two stories today on the Japan Times website about people breaking ranks and ignoring the state of emergency.


 

thomas

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I'm not commenting on rights and wrongs of this, but, interestingly, there are two stories today on the Japan Times website about people breaking ranks and ignoring the state of emergency.

I remember someone on the news saying that if the fat LDP cats disregard the coronavirus and have steak dinners, why should we the people care. :LOL:
 

musicisgood

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I remember someone on the news saying that if the fat LDP cats disregard the coronavirus and have steak dinners, why should we the people care. :LOL:
Sad but true we're going to see much more of the fat catch whining and dying out and getting caught.
We we are already seeing a breakdown in society among the Young not paying attention anymore.
When the politicians cheat why not the regular common folks start cheating also.
 

thomas

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Today Mr Suga reported that government had secured 310 million shots of COVID-19 vaccines to be supplied by U.S. drugmaker Pfizer. Vaccinations for the general public are set to start in May after giving shots to medical workers, followed by people age 65 or older from late March, then people with pre-existing conditions and those caring for older people.

“The vaccinations will start with medical professionals, older people and those with underlying medical conditions,” Suga said. {...} The government has said Japan will receive an additional supply of COVID-19 vaccine doses for 12 million people from Pfizer, with the U.S. pharmaceutical giant’s vaccine likely to gain approval for use in mid-February. Under the latest agreement, Japan has secured doses for a total of 72 million people, more than half of its population of 126 million, from Pfizer within this year, after agreeing last year to buy 120 million doses for 60 million people from the company.

 
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