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Second wave. Japan is on the verge of an “explosion” of the epidemic

Second wave. Japan is on the verge of an “explosion” of the epidemic

Japanese authorities abandoned hard quarantine and mass testing. Tokyo has now announced an emergency mode.

Since April 7, the Japanese government has introduced an emergency regime in seven prefectures. This decision was made for the first time in the post-war history of Japan.

The reason for declaring the situation extremely was the record number of cases in Japan per day — more than 500 people.

Japan awaiting the collapse of medicine

Japan is located in the primary distribution region of the coronavirus, but until recently it did not close the border with China, waiting for the visit of Chinese leader Xi Jinping in early April and did not impose a quarantine, hoping to host the 2020 Olympics on time.

In Japan, there were only a few dozen confirmed cases of coronavirus infection, when a young nurse with a sore throat boarded a bus to Osaka, where she went to a nightclub for a performance by a popular group on the occasion of Valentine's Day.

Less than two weeks later, a coronavirus was found in her, and authorities immediately warned everyone who was in the same club that evening. Soon the coronavirus was detected in other similar club institutions in the city.

Their visitors and the people they contacted were examined and tested, and health officials asked them all to stay home. A total of 106 club visitors were infected.

Less than a month later, the governor of Osaka Prefecture announced that the outbreak had passed. The authorities assured that they had taken the necessary measures to prevent the epidemic.

Then, Japan surprised epidemiologists around the world in that it managed to avoid such tragic situations as in Italy or New York, without resorting to strict quarantine, which is now destroying economies around the world, and mass testing notes the New York Times.

However, on March 26, Health Minister Katsunobu Kato announced the second wave of the brutal epidemic was approaching Japan.

Japanese schools have been closed for a month, and all major events have been canceled, but in general, the life of the Japanese has not changed: they are going to enjoy sakura in the parks, go to boutiques and restaurants.

While pandemics are rapidly developing in other parts of the world, hospitals are crowded and many people are dying, in Japan with its population of 127 million people, about four thousand cases of coronavirus infection have been confirmed, and one thousand cases have been registered only since April 4.

Over the entire epidemic in Japan, 92 people died, or about two percent of all infected in the country, from COVID-19 in Japan. This is one of the lowest mortality rates in the world, despite many elderly residents.

Japan did only about 30 thousand tests. Despite the fact that she is able to do 7.5 thousand tests every day, she does only about a thousand. That is, the real extent of the epidemic in Japan is unknown.

Tomoyo Saito, director of the crisis management department at the Japan State Institute of Public Health, explains that tests are only performed for those who have serious symptoms of coronavirus for several days to hospitalize only “severe” patients and not deplete medical resources.

In addition, experts note the peculiarities of the Japanese communication culture. Here, bows are accepted instead of handshakes, and public hugs are not practiced even between couples in love.

Another feature of the Japanese, which could cause a smooth development of the epidemic, is hygiene as an image of the norm. For example, public toilets, which were famous all over the world for their technological effectiveness, have moved even further: an infrared sensor will react to the hand if the visitor wants to raise the seat or lid for rubbish.

Among other features, one can name the Japanese habit of often wearing masks on their faces, for example, because of an allergy to flowering plants, which is common in Japan, or because of a stale look in the morning.

In addition, about 90 percent of all two in public places are sliding. This architectural feature in Japan has been preserved from ancient times.

At the same time, the Japanese have cultural characteristics that, on the contrary, can cause the spread of infection. These are revels with colleagues after work and other collective feasts, where it is customary to eat from one dish and even drink from one glass.

At the same time, only giants of the level of trade and production corporations allowed themselves to send employees to a remote site, the rest work as usual. Only 5.6 percent of respondents began to work from home.

Now, in Tokyo and Osaka, the number of infected is rapidly growing, from which it is impossible to determine the source of infection. As the local edition of Mainichi Shimbun notes in an editorial, “Japan is on the verge of an 'epidemic explosion.”

The emergency regime in Japan will have its own specifics. On the one hand, the announcement of the emergency mode will allow local authorities to require citizens not to go out, refuse public events, and comply with hygiene requirements.

On the other hand, no QR codes for going out, fines and other punitive measures for failure to comply with these requirements are provided for: the calculation is made on the traditional discipline of the Japanese.

On Monday, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe assured that “unlike foreign countries, there will be no closure of cities.” At the same time, we are not talking about a national lockout — the emergency mode will affect the metropolitan region of Tokyo and six prefectures.

If nothing is done, there is a high probability of a collapse of the medical system, in which hospitals cannot receive seriously ill patients, the article says. The publication notes that the reaction of the state and local administrations was belated.

On the eve of Tokyo, hotels began to accept patients who have a mild form of coronavirus infection.

According to experts, to prevent the explosion of the epidemic, contacts must be reduced by 80 percent. At the same time, the press urges not to refuse to engage in sports in the fresh air and walks in uninhabited places in order to avoid a sense of hopelessness.

In addition to the issues of combating the pandemic, another acute topic is the implications of the upcoming introduction of the emergency mode for the third-world economy and the second Asian economy.

After reports of new quarantine measures being prepared, the yen has declined against world currencies.

Aware of the severity of the consequences of the epidemic, the Prime Minister announced an unprecedented scale of a trillion-dollar package of anti-crisis economic measures. This is equivalent to about 20 percent of Japan's GDP.

The funds, in particular, will be used to support business and cash payments to those whose incomes have fallen sharply due to restrictive measures in connection with the pandemic.

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