Japan Covid-19 increase is pressurizing the cluster busting approach

Japan Covid-19 increase is pressurizing the cluster busting approach

Kanako Mita and Sawako Utsumi

Modern Tokyo Times

The government of Japan and regional governments have emphasized the need to prevent coronavirus (Covid-19) clusters from reaching the wider community. At the same time, by focusing on curtailing clusters then infections were kept down.

However, with the spiraling daily number of new infections then this approach is being put under heavy pressure. Indeed, with increasing routes of coronavirus infections remaining unknown, it is becoming nigh impossible to stem clusters in certain parts of the country.

In early November the number of clusters began to grow by 26 percent in the week ending November 9. Hence, with new national and regional records of new infections being reported, the growth of clusters is bound to increase further.

An advisory at the Health Ministry indicated that cluster busting is now being rendered with less efficiency. This is based on daily growing infections. Therefore, a new approach is needed to complement this angle in the containment of coronavirus in Japan.

Tracing outbreaks at local public health facilities became an important tool in the fight against coronavirus. Yet, unlike the earlier period when many clusters were related to sexually related hostess bars, entertainment districts, and the nightlife – now the spread of clusters is more diverse and problematic.

For example, more clusters are being reported at the workplace and health facilities. Equally important, often the routes of these clusters are unknown and this is creating enormous problems for the cluster busting system.

Of course, when clusters break out in prefectures with low infection rates, the cluster busting system is still effective. However, in cities including Hokkaido, Osaka, and Tokyo with high infection rates, this approach is under enormous strain.

https://stopcovid19.metro.tokyo.lg.jp/en/ – Tokyo Metropolitan Government website for updates about the coronavirus crisis in Tokyo.

https://toyokeizai.net/sp/visual/tko/covid19/en.html – Japan and Tokyo Covid-19 news with more analysis

https://covid19japan.com/ – Japan regional coronavirus statistics

https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/ World coronavirus statistics

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