There is an argument that the number of people infected with the new coronavirus in Japan is lower than in Europe and the United States, and that this is because Japan has not been tested. Is this theory correct? This paper statistically examines it.
Why are there so few tests in Japan?
According to infectious disease experts, there is no point in testing if there is no cure, and while it is easy to test for influenza and prescribe Tamiflu or Relenza if it is positive, there is nothing to be done with coronavirus patients. Regarding the low number of tests, the director of the National Institute of Infectious Diseases (NID) released a document entitled “To the public: Misunderstandings in the press regarding the active epidemiological investigation of new coronavirus infections, March 1, 2020. According to the report, there is no need to increase the number of tests because they are meant to reduce the spread of infection.
However, this doesn’t tell you what you’re saying. We usually do tests to find the cause and cure the patient, but there is no cure for the new coronavirus, so it is inevitable that we will do tests in that sense. So, I don’t know until you tell me that I shouldn’t be spending my medical resources on meaningless tests. Infectious disease scholars say, “So it’s better to go after the infected population (clusters) and make sure they’re quarantined than to test them, which will prevent the explosive spread of infection.
There are many infected people who are not known when tested. It is said that only about 70% of infected people can be correctly tested positive. That would give a stamp of freedom of action to those who are infected but do not test positive. This could rather spread the infection.
Also, there are a few people who are negative but turn out to be positive. It is undesirable to cause social inconveniences such as waiting at home for two weeks for someone who is truly negative. In addition, the number of positive cases does not increase as much as it would if we intensively examined suspicious people such as fever. That’s why there are so few positives, he said.
However, she says that nowadays, even if the fever continues, it is difficult for her to get checked out. If you are not tested, you can’t even go to the doctor while suffering from a fever for fear of infecting a family member or someone at work. If you test for it and it’s negative, it’s a relief, and you can prevent infection by quarantining it. The number of inspections could be increased by setting up inspection stations in special locations, such as drive-through inspections, and concentrating a large number of people.
These days, infectious disease scholars seem to have become less adamant about not testing. In addition, doctors other than infectious disease specialists, who fear that the lack of testing will lead to infection in the hospital, are now asking for testing.