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COVID-19 Coronavirus: situation in Japan

Lothor

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Regarding the vaccination rollout, something I take heart from is that an American friend who is in his 70s and lives in Setagaya-ku, Tokyo, told me that the appointment for his first injection had suddenly been brought forward from July to next week.
 

johnnyG

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My wife was saying a couple days ago, and has since seen similar comments online, that japan being carried into the olympics by its leadership is in some ways similar to japan being carried into the war.
 

johnnyG

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Regarding the vaccination rollout, something I take heart from is that an American friend who is in his 70s and lives in Setagaya-ku, Tokyo, told me that the appointment for his first injection had suddenly been brought forward from July to next week.
Reservations here opened on the 15th of this month, I snagged a slot (for my first shot) this coming saturday, second shot time/date will be decided then. Tentative plan is for the 65+ group, which is a third of this prefecture's population, to be done by the end of june. Local paper says the next cohort, 60-64, will get shots in july.
 

Lothor

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My wife was saying a couple days ago, and has since seen similar comments online, that japan being carried into the olympics by its leadership is in some ways similar to japan being carried into the war.
The fact that the spectators are likely to be mainly made up of schoolkids is a particularly striking example of this.
 

thomas

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Reservations here opened on the 15th of this month, I snagged a slot (for my first shot) this coming saturday, second shot time/date will be decided then. Tentative plan is for the 65+ group, which is a third of this prefecture's population, to be done by the end of june. Local paper says the next cohort, 60-64, will get shots in july.

Your prefecture reported a big new cluster today. Just out of curiosity, did they inform you on which vaccine they are going to use?
 

johnnyG

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Yeah, the cluster, the main/only one I know of (x50?), is up the peninsula quite a ways, between Wajima and Anamizu (closer to the latter). It's at the aviation high school at the airport up that way, dorm living for students.

Pfizer/BioNTech, as far as I know. (now I'll be wondering if I should email my doc!! :cautious:)
 

thomas

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And the weekly updates:


Nationwide infections:

19/05 (Wed)20/05 (Thu)21/05 (Fri)22/05 (Sat)23/05 (Son)24/05 (Mon)25/05 (Tue)
5,819 (- 1,238)
5,721 (- 1,159)
5,253 (- 1,013)
5,040 (- 1,382)
4,048 (- 1,213)
2,712 (- 968)
3,900 (- 1,330)

Nationwide deaths - Seriously Ill:

19/05 (Wed)20/05 (Thu)21/05 (Fri)22/05 (Sat)23/05 (Son)24/05 (Mon)25/05 (Tue)
260 (+ 137) - 1,293 (+ 104)
89 (- 12) - 1,288 (+ 74)
106 (+ 16) - 1,294 (+ 85)
106 (- 4) - 1,303 (+ 72)
84 (- 14) - 1,304 (+ 81)
76 (+ 31) - 1,300 (+ 73)
92 (+ 9) - 1,294 (+ 59)

Infections in selected prefectures:

19/05 (Wed)20/05 (Thu)21/05 (Fri)22/05 (Sat)23/05 (Son)24/05 (Mon)25/05 (Tue)
Aichi
666 (- 13)
633 (+ 9)
597 (- 1)
616 (+ 20)
431 (- 91)
280 (- 82)
327 (- 212)
Chiba
132 (- 49)
114 (- 57)
168 (- 1)
126 (- 14)
84 (- 51)
82 (-46)
99 (+ 10)
Fukuoka
500 (- 135)
399 (- 103)
387 (- 85)
310 (- 212)
262 (- 243)
195 (- 87)
199 (- 147)
Hokkaido
604 (+ 75)
681 (- 31)
727 (+ 134)
658 (+ 92)
605 (+ 114)
366 (- 6)
459 (- 74)
Hyogo
242 (- 142)
209 (- 152)
162 (- 152)
229 (- 70)
111 (- 156)
86 (- 34)
139 (- 110)
Kanagawa
269 (- 50)
308 (- 29)
327 (- 13)
269 (- 59)
266 (- 30)
219 (+ 20)
200 (- 48)
Okinawa
203 (+ 94)
198 (+ 72)
207 (+ 73)
231 (+ 71)
156 (+ 78)
104 (+ 45)
256 (+ 88)
Osaka
477 (- 374)
501 (- 260)
415 (- 161)
406 (- 379)
274 (- 346)
216 (- 166)
327 (- 182)
Saitama
192 (- 67)
228 (- 61)
182 (- 75)
181 (- 65)
165 (- 51)
83 (- 52)
128 (- 58)
Tokyo
766 (- 203)
843 (- 167)
649 (- 205)
602 (- 170)
535 (- 7)
340 (- 79)
542 (- 190)

 

thomas

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As expected, the Japanese government has extended the current state of emergency to 20 June in Tokyo, Osaka, Kyoto, Hyogo, Aichi, Fukuoka, Hokkaido, Okayama and Hiroshima. Okinawa is already under the measure, while Saitama, Chiba, Kanagawa, Gifu and Mie are in pre-emergency measures, as are Gunma, Ishikawa and Kumamoto, where they expire on 13 June. Effectively, 75% of all Japanese prefectures are now under SoE.


Okinawa reported a record number of new infections:

The southernmost prefecture’s latest daily count topped 300 for the second time since May 26 and raised the total number of coronavirus infections in the prefecture to 16,303. The number of new COVID-19 cases per 100,000 people in Okinawa Prefecture over the most recent week hit 102.55, the highest figure ever recorded in any of the nation’s 47 prefectures, according to the Okinawa prefectural government. The occupancy rate of hospital beds for COVID-19 patients also remains high in the prefecture, at 94.5 percent.

 

thomas

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The inoculation drive in Japan seems to pick up speed:

Tokyo and Osaka have set up mass vaccination centres that offer up to 15,000 inoculations a day. The two centres are run by Self-Defense Forces personnel and will operate for three months.


Once all medical personnel and people over 65 will have received their shots, vaccinations will be available to all at once:


According to a study by the National Cancer Center smokers seem to puff more during the pandemic than before, despite the heightened risk of catching a potentially fatal respiratory disease.

The trend for the increased tobacco use is related to the new normal of teleworking or staying at home, according to the survey, which was released on May 31 to coincide with World No Tobacco Day, an initiative by the World Health Organization. The survey also showed that smokers largely underestimate their risk of catching the novel coronavirus in smoking areas and developing serious COVID-19 symptoms compared with the understanding of the risks by their nonsmoking counterparts.


Two interesting studies regarding mask acceptance: according to researchers at Kyoto University the differences in cultural acceptance may be traced back to infancy and the way language is understood by watching the speaker's mouth or eyes.

Past studies showed that Japanese adults mainly focus on the eyes of a person speaking during a conversation, while native English speakers in Europe and North America tend to let their eyes linger on the mouth. Covering that particular part--eyes or mouth--creates anxiety among those participating in the conversation. In fact, many people tend to don a pair of sunglasses outside in Europe and North America, but wearing a mask is not as popular as it is in Japan. People look at different parts of the face of the speaker because of the structural differences in the Japanese and English languages. As the Japanese language does not have many vowels and consonants, there is little assistance provided to comprehension by reading lips.


Meanwhile, the MIT has found out that masks are most popular in countries with high collectivism.

Though wearing face masks can help prevent the virus from spreading, the mask-wearing rate varies greatly depending on countries and regions. To determine why some have embraced mask wearing more than others, the team, led by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, compared the degree of collectivism in general in the United States with other countries and regions and between U.S. states. Researchers analyzed the relationship between the collectivism the location had and the rate of mask wearing there. “Understanding the cultural differences will be useful for future crises,” a team member said. The United States and Britain, where the tendency toward individualism is higher, had lower mask-wearing rates, while South Korea, Thailand and the United Arab Emirates where collectivism is more valued had higher rates. Hawaii and other U.S. states, where there is thought to be a higher collectivistic tendency, had high mask-wearing rates, while North Dakota and Montana, believed to put more value on individualism, had lower rates. The study showed that though Japan has a higher collectivistic tendency than Western countries, it has a lower tendency than other Asian or Central and South American countries. Japan's mask-wearing rate was more than 95 percent, the study found.

 

thomas

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And the weekly updates:


Nationwide infections:

26/05 (Wed)27/05 (Thu)28/05 (Fri)29/05 (Sat)30/05 (Son)31/05 (Mon)01/06 (Tue)
4,536 (- 1,283)
4,140 (- 1,581)
3,708 (- 1,545)
3,596 (- 1,444)
2,877 (- 1,171)
1,793 (- 919)
2,643 (- 1,257)

Nationwide deaths - Seriously Ill:

26/05 (Wed)27/05 (Thu)28/05 (Fri)29/05 (Sat)30/05 (Son)31/05 (Mon)01/06 (Tue)
99 (- 161) - 1,413 1,293 (+ 120)
104 (+ 15) - 1,371 (+ 83)
113 (+ 7) - 1,375 (+ 81)
10 (- 1) - 1,383 (+ 80)
101 (+ 17) - 1,347 (+ 43)
47 (- 29) - 1,349 (+ 49)
91 (- 1) - 1,323 (+ 29)

Infections in selected prefectures:

26/05 (Wed)27/05 (Thu)28/05 (Fri)29/05 (Sat)30/05 (Son)31/05 (Mon)01/06 (Tue)
Aichi
445 (- 221)
394 (- 239)
383 (- 214)
347 (- 269)
305 (- 126)
145 (- 135)
305 (- 22)
Chiba
123 (- 9)
121 (+ 7)
119 (- 49)
100 (- 26)
89 (- 4)
82 (-46)
63 (- 36)
Fukuoka
211 (- 289)
179 (- 220)
192 (- 195)
190 (- 120)
152 (- 110)
66 (- 129)
81 (- 118)
Hokkaido
551 (- 53)
570 (- 111)
423 (- 304)
442 (- 216)
288 (- 317)
279 (- 87)
254 (- 205)
Hyogo
140 (- 102)
162 (- 47)
94 (- 68)
97 (- 132)
101 (- 10)
29 (- 57)
112 (- 27)
Kanagawa
225 (- 44)
227 (- 81)
260 (- 67)
258 (- 11)
233 (- 33)
139 (- 80)
159 (- 41)
Okinawa
302 (+ 99)
240 (+ 42)
313 (+ 106)
335 (+ 104)
271 (+ 115)
142 (+ 38)
223 (+ 33)
Osaka
331 (- 146)
309 (- 192)
290 (- 125)
216 (- 190)
197 (- 77)
98 (- 118)
201 (- 126)
Saitama
164 (- 28)
130 (- 98)
105 (- 77)
155 (- 26)
122 (- 43)
67 (- 16)
114 (- 14)
Tokyo
743 (- 23)
684 (- 159)
614 (- 35)
539 (- 63)
448 (- 87)
260 (- 80)
471 (- 71)

 

Lothor

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Those in Tokyo will find this interesting - the dates of the vaccination rollout for adults under 65 in the 23 wards.
vacc.jpg
 

timaki

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On the NHK 7pm news broadcast last night (June 7; sorry, I don't have a link to the specific story), they did a quick interview with some expert who was talking about the vaccine rollout. They said that this process is like running a marathon, and that it is hard to stay motivated if you don't know how far away the finish line is. The point was to encourage the government to state clearly to the general public when those below the age of 65 could expect to get vaccinated.

I was also curious as to when Japan could achieve herd immunity, at least so that we wouldn't need to keep anticipating the next big wave of infections. I ran some scenarios, and came up with estimates in the 3-month to 9-month range. Here is a link to the details if you are interested.
 

Uncle Frank

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Do they have a large group in Japan who will refuse the shot? Seems here in the US about 1/4 or 1/3 refuse to get it. Maine did really well till we hit about 50% vaccinated pretty fast and then it slowed way down.
 

timaki

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Do they have a large group in Japan who will refuse the shot? Seems here in the US about 1/4 or 1/3 refuse to get it. Maine did really well till we hit about 50% vaccinated pretty fast and then it slowed way down.
There will always be some people who will refuse anything. Is it "a large group" in Japan? A year ago, I would have said, "yes," given the regular reporting about how reticent the Japanese population is with vaccines. But we just finished distributing the first dose to all physicians, and the official stats show that (as of yesterday) 101% of physicians have gotten that shot. Clearly, someone isn't very good at counting. But it does show, at least among doctors, that they understand the importance of protecting themselves and others by getting immunized.

Will the same hold true for those outside the medical community? I really wish I knew. Apart from occassional mentions about the reticence I referred to above, you don't see reports of people angrily warning about the dangers, or screaming that people should avoid the vaccines. It is definitely not like in the US, where there are entire populations who are very vocal about refusing the available vaccines. That being said, I do know one person personally in Japan who will not get the shot out of fear from side effects. Thankfully, herd immunity does not require 100% acceptance. But I do hope he represents a tiny minority.
 

Lothor

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There will always be some people who will refuse anything. Is it "a large group" in Japan? A year ago, I would have said, "yes," given the regular reporting about how reticent the Japanese population is with vaccines. But we just finished distributing the first dose to all physicians, and the official stats show that (as of yesterday) 101% of physicians have gotten that shot. Clearly, someone isn't very good at counting. But it does show, at least among doctors, that they understand the importance of protecting themselves and others by getting immunized.

Will the same hold true for those outside the medical community? I really wish I knew. Apart from occassional mentions about the reticence I referred to above, you don't see reports of people angrily warning about the dangers, or screaming that people should avoid the vaccines. It is definitely not like in the US, where there are entire populations who are very vocal about refusing the available vaccines. That being said, I do know one person personally in Japan who will not get the shot out of fear from side effects. Thankfully, herd immunity does not require 100% acceptance. But I do hope he represents a tiny minority.
The last few times I've been to Shibuya station (perhaps three times in the last 6-8 months), there have been "it's all a hoax!" protestors there (who I assume are also antivax) but I think it's mainly unease about new things and a lack of trust of authority that are driving Japanese reticence rather than boneheaded views.
 

thomas

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Here are the weekly updates (Wed, 2 June - Tue, 8 June):


Nationwide infections:

02/06 (Wed)03/06 (Thu)04/06 (Fri)05/06 (Sat)06/06 (Son)07/06 (Mon)08/06 (Tue)
3,036 (- 1,500)
2,831 (- 1,309)
2,595 (- 1,113)
2,652 (- 944)
2,022 (- 855)
1,278 (- 515)
1,884 (- 759)

Nationwide deaths - Seriously Ill:

02/06 (Wed)03/06 (Thu)04/06 (Fri)05/06 (Sat)06/06 (Son)07/06 (Mon)08/06 (Tue)
92 (- 7) - 1,284(- 129)
105 (+ 1) - 1,227 (- 144)
119 (+ 6) - 1,198 (- 177)
85 (- 20) - 1,157 (-226 )
74 (- 27) - 1,131 (- 216)
51 (+ 4) - 1,120 (- 229)
99 (+ 8) - 1,099 1,323 (- 22)

Infections in selected prefectures:

02/06 (Wed)03/06 (Thu)04/06 (Fri)05/06 (Sat)06/06 (Son)07/06 (Mon)08/06 (Tue)
Aichi
287 (- 158)
288 (- 106)
266 (- 117)
218 (- 129)
169 (- 136)
97 (- 48)
170 (- 135)
Chiba
109 (- 14)
99 (- 22)
121 (+ 2)
100 (- 26)
89 (- 4)
68 (-14)
81 (+ 18)
Fukuoka
116 (- 95)
102 (- 77)
79 (- 113)
85 (- 105)
79 (- 73)
27 (- 39)
57 (- 24)
Hokkaido
317 (- 234)
300 (- 270)
203 (- 220)
81 (- 195)
183 (- 105)
147 (- 132)
120 (- 134)
Hyogo
104 (- 36)
70 (- 92)
75 (- 19)
97 (- 132)
58 (- 43)
22 (- 7)
68 (- 44)
Kanagawa
218 (- 7)
215 (- 12)
234 (- 26)
224 (- 34)
249 (+ 16)
173 (+ 34)
179 (+ 20)
Okinawa
297 (- 5)
244 (+ 4)
247 (- 66)
261 (- 74)
183 (- 88)
104 (- 38)
159 (- 64)
Osaka
213 (- 118)
226 (- 83)
189 (- 101)
174 (- 42)
145 (- 52)
72 (- 26)
190 (- 11)
Saitama
132 (- 32)
122 (- 8)
102 (- 3)
119 (- 36)
81 (- 41)
44 (- 23)
83 (- 31)
Tokyo
487 (- 256)
508 (- 176)
472 (- 145)
436 (- 103)
351 (- 97)
235 (- 25)
369 (- 102)

 

thomas

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The Japanese government *considers* a new law to order hospitals to admit COVID-19 patients.

The government finds it necessary to secure a sufficient number of hospital beds by making a law, given the fact that not many private hospitals admitted those infected with the coronavirus when the pandemic began spreading further. [...] The government also plans to speed up approval of vaccines and drugs by reviewing the current screening system. Besides measures to promptly cope with the coronavirus crisis, the draft seeks concentration of investments in the four areas of realizing a green society, promoting digitalization, bringing about regional revitalization and supporting children and child-rearing, in an effort to achieve a post-pandemic economic growth.


The summer forecasts don't look good - with our without the Games. :(

The number of people seriously ill with Covid-19 in Tokyo could surge in the coming weeks, peaking as the Olympics are underway, even without thousands of participants streaming into the capital. A new analysis shows severe coronavirus cases could rise to a level that would require another state of emergency by early August in Tokyo, despite progress in vaccinating the elderly -- if current restrictions in Japan’s urban areas are lifted as scheduled on June 20. The disease modelling from Kyoto University professor Hiroshi Nishiura was presented to government officials at a coronavirus advisory board meeting on Wednesday.

Japan Risks Another Covid Surge With or Without Olympics - Bloomberg

Tokyo, June 9 (Jiji Press)--Tokyo may need a fresh coronavirus state of emergency in August even if vaccinations of elderly people finish by the end of July as planned, the epidemiological analysis showed Wednesday. The number of severely ill COVID-19 patients in Tokyo is seen rising to levels in Stage 4, worst on Japan's coronavirus alert scale, if Tokyo exits the current state of emergency June 20 as scheduled and then British and other strains spread as they did in Osaka Prefecture during the fourth wave of infections in spring, according to the analysis by Kyoto University professor Hiroshi Nishiura.

The results of the analysis were presented at a meeting of a health ministry advisory board. In the analysis, the effective reproduction number, or the average number of people one person infects, was put at 1.7. If 50 pct of the hospital beds secured for severely ill patients are occupied, the situation is considered Stage 4. The analysis assumes that a fresh state of emergency will be issued if the occupancy rate reaches around 70 pct. Based on the assumption, Tokyo would be placed under the new state of emergency in early August, and the measure would continue until mid-November, according to the analysis.
 

thomas

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If you are under 65, live in either Tokyo or Osaka, and want to get vaccinated you might be in luck: both cities will start mass vaccinations of people aged 18-64 on Thursday due to a large number of vaccination slots available (in Tokyo, 87,000 out of 120,000, 33,000 out of 60,000 slots in Osaka).

Japan's state-run mass coronavirus vaccination centres will start inoculating people age between 18 and 64 on Thursday in an attempt to fill vacant appointment slots, the ministry in charge of operations said Tuesday. The centres in Tokyo and Osaka were set up last month by the Defense Ministry to vaccinate people age 65 and above living in seven prefectures in the metropolitan and Kansai areas. But last week, with appointments remaining largely unbooked for two weeks through June 27, the ministry expanded the scope to vaccinate eligible people from anywhere within the nation. The ministry said it will start accepting reservation requests for vacant slots available at the venues from midnight Tuesday.

 

thomas

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The weekly updates:


Nationwide infections:

09/06 (Wed)10/06 (Thu)11/06 (Fri)12/06 (Sat)13/06 (Son)14/06 (Mon)15/06 (Tue)
2,242 (- 794)
2,044 (- 787)
1,935 (- 660)
1,944 (- 708)
1,387 (- 635)
936 (- 342)
1,418 (- 466)

Nationwide deaths - Seriously Ill:

09/06 (Wed)10/06 (Thu)11/06 (Fri)12/06 (Sat)13/06 (Son)14/06 (Mon)15/06 (Tue)
98 (+ 6) - 1,055 (- 229)
98 (- 7) - 1,015 (- 212)
66 (- 53) - 942 (- 256)
69 (- 16) - 890 (-267 )
56 (- 18) - 852 (- 279)
38 (- 13) - 849 (- 271)
67 (- 32) - 827 (- 272)

Infections in selected prefectures:

09/06 (Wed)10/06 (Thu)11/06 (Fri)12/06 (Sat)13/06 (Son)14/06 (Mon)15/06 (Tue)
Aichi
247 (- 40)
171 (- 117)
149 (- 117)
123 (- 95)
102 (- 67)
46 (- 51)
98 (- 72)
Chiba
106 (- 3)
102 (+ 3)
113 (- 8)
79 (- 21)
105 (+ 16)
91 (+ 23)
87 (+ 6)
Fukuoka
66 (- 50)
42 (- 60)
58 (- 21)
47 (- 38)
37 (- 42)
23 (- 4)
35 (- 22)
Hokkaido
179 (- 138)
182 (- 118)
145 (- 58)
125 (+ 44)
82 (- 101)
74 (- 73)
87 (- 33)
Hyogo
64 (- 40)
50 (- 20)
46 (- 29)
38 (- 59)
24 (- 34)
21 (- 1)
44 (- 24)
Kanagawa
202 (- 16)
189 (- 26)
220 (- 14)
247 (+ 23)
170 (- 79)
141 (- 32)
160 (- 19)
Okinawa
174 (- 123)
166 (- 78)
145 (- 102)
157 (- 104)
104 (- 79)
54 (- 50)
104 (- 55)
Osaka
153 (- 60)
148 (- 78)
134 (- 55)
126 (- 48)
96 (- 49)
57 (- 15)
110 (- 80)
Saitama
121 (- 11)
110 (- 12)
87 (- 15)
83 (- 36)
65 (- 16)
41 (- 3)
70 (- 13)
Tokyo
440 (- 47)
439 (- 69)
435 (- 37)
467 (+ 31)
304 (- 47)
209 (- 26)
337 (- 32)

Vaccinations as of 12/06/2021:

First dose: 15.9m (39.07%)
Second dose: 5.47m (13.4%)



In other news: some municipalities will start vaccinating people under 65 tomorrow, Thursday.

COVID-19 vaccinations for individuals aged 64 or below have begun in some parts of Japan, with local governments setting their own "priority slots" for child care workers, teachers and other groups. The vaccinations for younger people come as inoculations for the elderly is kicking into gear. Full-scale vaccinations are also set to start at universities and companies from June 21.


This is the coupon distribution schedule for Kawasaki:

 

Lothor

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The state of emergency is being downgraded to a quasi-state of emergency throughout the affected prefectures of Japan from June 21 to July 11, except in Okinawa. In practice, this means we can be served alcohol until 7pm in cafes and bars instead of not at all. I'm still at a loss to know how this will make any difference. The recent falls in the number of new cases in Tokyo seem to have levelled off, with more cases being reported today and yesterday than the corresponding days a week ago.

 

thomas

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Yes, over 450 cases in Tokyo today. And the number of PCR tests has been dropping since mid-May:

daily-pcr-tests.png



 
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