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COVID-19 infections in Tokyo may have jumped nine-fold, antibody survey shows

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‘covid infections went up a lot after summer ‘

-9 ( +2 / -11 )

The results of the serologic survey correlate well with what was observed from the (very limited) detection of new cases so probably nobody is surprised.

Well, nobody but the antivaxxers that endlessly repeated the false conclusion that by now Japan was already close to herd immunity and therefore there was no need for a vaccine.

17 ( +24 / -7 )

If you do the math, 0.19% of Tokyo's population is less than the official case count. Either the study is flawed, or people who had been infected have lost their immunity. Or both.

-1 ( +7 / -8 )

Geez, there are plenty of people, myself included, who have said all along, that due to Japan's LACK of testing there is no way to accurately assess just how many people have been getting the virus here.

The authorities can't, and more importantly DO NOT want to properly track infections, and rely on word of mouth, from those who are testing positive.

Case in point. One guy, tested positive, after attending a party, with roughly 30 other people, in a club down here. He interacted with just about everyone in the room, according to him. The 30 or so people who were there were all friends and the same age, and had attended JHS together and got together for their "Coming of Age" celebrations.

Only TWO were "advised" by the local health center to get tested and to self quarantine! TWO!

Same guy, went into quarantine, hospitalized for a couple of days, sent home, then told by the SAME health center 10 days later, that he could leave quarantine, without having to take another test to check if he was positive or not.

The numbers being put out by Japan, like so many other government released statistics can not be trusted!

28 ( +35 / -7 )

COVID-19 infections in Tokyo may have jumped nine-fold,

Or

COVID-19 cases still less than 1% of population.

-18 ( +6 / -24 )

And basically everybody is doing just fine.

Many of us already got Covid but didn’t even notice.

It’s a pandemic of positives but not of serious illness.

-24 ( +10 / -34 )

@Yubaru

So what happened to all other friends after all who were told not to do anything. Did some develop symptoms and get positive ? Did their families show symptoms too and get infected? Or nothing happened?

If nothing, the strategy in that case was good. Russian roulette.

I am back to my rhetoric that a two weeks quarantine for returnees after one or two negative tests is meaningless. This is imposed though a negative tests while these in more or less contact like the case you described are free to move around

-6 ( +7 / -13 )

If you do the math, 0.19% of Tokyo's population is less than the official case count. Either the study is flawed, or people who had been infected have lost their immunity. Or both.

It is not 0.19%, its 0.91

Tokyo's population is 37 millions, the 0.91% of that is 336,700 people, this is quite a lot more than the official count of over 100,000 cases.

And basically everybody is doing just fine.

Many of us already got Covid but didn’t even notice.

It’s a pandemic of positives but not of serious illness.

No, more 6,000 people are not doing fine at all, they died and the rest of the population has to make a lot of changes in the lifestyle or even lost their jobs in order to keep the situation at least as now.

Also, you are terribly confused thinking all the huge efforts are meant to prevent this situation. This is still the best case scenario where infections are not enough to overcome the health services and have not spread to the vulnerable population.

The situation can change to the opposite at any time and it would be too late to do anything then, so we are doing things now, to avoid having also huge numbers of seriously ill people not being able to get any medical attention.

19 ( +27 / -8 )

only 2 people here making sense are Yubaru and virusrex

13 ( +20 / -7 )

Japan needs urgently implement full lockdown.. Otherwise ,More lives will be lost and Health service will definitely collapse. After that,, it will spin out of control.This is serious situation.

-2 ( +12 / -14 )

only 2 people here making sense are Yubaru and virusrex

Japan needs urgently implement full lockdown.. Otherwise ,More lives will be lost and Health service will definitely collapse. After that,, it will spin out of control.This is serious situation.

And andy

0 ( +9 / -9 )

Here is part of the problem.

https://www.theregister.com/2021/02/05/japans_covid19_contact_tracing_app/

Japan’s COVID-19 contact-tracing app hasn't warned users of encounters with carriers since September

Android edition just didn’t do the job and Health Ministry knew it. Now Japan is in its third and nastiest wave of infections

11 ( +12 / -1 )

ArtistAtLarge: Oh yeah! I forgot all about Japan's app experiment, which the government and people were praising non-stop for a couple of weeks like it was the Ishikawa Ryu of the app world or something.

13 ( +14 / -1 )

Do yourself a favor and actually find a way to get a job for a week or so in a hospital that is taking care of Covid patients...maybe you will learn something. I'm sure you'll find a way not to, but maybe.

Burning Bush

And basically everybody is doing just fine.

Many of us already got Covid but didn’t even notice.

It’s a pandemic of positives but not of serious illness.

16 ( +21 / -5 )

It’s a pandemic of positives but not of serious illness.

Just tell that to the 105 million cases worldwide and the 2.29 million deaths to date about the seriousness of the situation.

11 ( +17 / -6 )

It's kind of a relief that it's only about 1%, given that we've had no real data to go on up to this point.

It's gone up a fair bit, but it's still mystifyingly low relative to a lot of other countries. Hopefully that will continue.

It's about the best we could have hoped for.

2 ( +7 / -5 )

Can u imagine if the headline instead was

COVID-19 cases still less than 1% of population.

-6 ( +6 / -12 )

@stickman1760

Can u imagine if the headline instead was

COVID-19 cases still less than 1% of population.

You will never read such a headline, because it is not fear mongering.

The fear mongering people have to be feeded.

-9 ( +6 / -15 )

As opposed to the "I did my own research"* people.

*indicates they watched a You Tube video or conducted an exhaustive Google search while perched on the toilet.

Monty

Can u imagine if the headline instead was

COVID-19 cases still less than 1% of population.

You will never read such a headline, because it is not fear mongering.

The fear mongering people have to be feeded.

7 ( +10 / -3 )

Shhhh...

2 ( +3 / -1 )

The difference for using .19 or .91 is a huge difference in mathematical terms.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Have any of you contemplated about a genetic variant and natural immunity to this particular Covid particularity?

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

And basically everybody is doing just fine.

Many of us already got Covid but didn’t even notice.

It’s a pandemic of positives but not of serious illness.

@Burning Bush - Really mate? Really? Are you still banging that drum?

Let's do some maths, shall we, if you can deal with that on a Saturday morning (well, this isn't even really "maths" is it, it's just basic arithmetic...)

The survey say 0.91% of people have antibodies. Let's call that 1% for simplicity.

Let's say around 10,000,000 people live in Tokyo (it's 9 and a bit). So give or take, 100,000 people in Tokyo or thereabouts have had COVID (it might be 80,000 or 110,000 but its in that ballpark).

Now, what is the COVID death rate? We have frequently been told throughout the pandemic that it is about 2%. However, estimates are difficult as some people have no symptoms whatsoever so are not included in the calculation. So maybe the 2% is or is not true...

The antibody tests, though, should catch these symptomless people (maybe not all depending on how long the antibody lasts and shows up in testing).

If we have around 100,000 infected people and the death rate is the 2% that has been reported, we would expect 2000 deaths in Tokyo.

The actual recorded number of dead is just under 1000. This may be half of the estimate of 2000 , but again it shows we are in the right ball park. This quick calculation did not produce an answer of 2, or 20 or 20,000 or even 200,0000 deaths.

The order of magnitude is correct. We should also remember that the figure of 1000 dead is missing those that died undiagnosed - so the actual number may be higher.

So, to recap we have uncertainty over whether the antibody test numbers include those who had short-lived antibodies, and we have uncertainty over whether the death figures catch everyone (such as those who died at home with no medical investigation) and this means that if we are working out a fraction to figure out the death rate, both the number on top and the number on the bottom (numerator and denominator) could well be too small and we are not entirely sure which direction the inaccuracy goes in.

But what is clear is that, despite these inaccuracies and uncertainties a death rate of around 1 to 3% is not completely off. Observation, experience and those statistics that we do have tell us that the death rate is not 10 to 30% but then neither is it 0.1 to 0.3% or 0.01% to 0.03 %.

So now, we can also imagine that, (if you do live in Tokyo) with just 1000 recorded deaths in a city of 10 million, you probably don't know anyone who has been ill with COVID, and since it is not happening around you, you think it is not really a thing.

But let's get back to our arithmetic and assume we follow your advice and do nothing. Let's say everyone gets COVID. How does that work out mate?

1% of 120 million is 1.2 million and we are looking at more than 1 million dead. If the whole population of the planet got COVID we are looking at north of 70 million dead - of course absolutely everyone getting the disease may be unrealistic, but if no measures at all are taken then what is there to stop the stats heading in that direction?

So @burning bush - I would argue that your comments deny reality, have no justification or evidence to back them up, and are completely irresponsible.

The reason Japan is surviving this pandemic so far is not because the disease is not serious - it kills upwards of 1 in 100 people who get it - it is simply that only around 1 in 100 people have had it so far so the total dead are around 1 in 10,000.

The reason for that is because people are successfully taking the measures that you have been arguing against (mask up, keep your distance, stay in, avoid unnecessary mingling)

9 ( +13 / -4 )

No JT - please do not engage in censorship.

Dont hold your breath, they do and will continue to do so, as they have to eat too.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Many of us already got Covid but didn’t even notice.

True, even those who died from it don't notice anything now..

3 ( +6 / -3 )

Tokyo's population is 37 millions, the 0.91% of that is 336,700 people, this is quite a lot more than the official count of over 100,000 cases.

No no no, from the official intercensal estimate the population of the Tokyo prefecture is 13.506 million people (with 9.214 million living within Tokyo's 23 wards) not 37 million. With a 0.91% rate, that’s around 122,900 people having antibodies. The current number of people tested positive to the covid is 102,845, so the difference is way smaller to what you claim it is.

That being said, the 0.91% rate comes from a survey that covered only 3,399 people in Tokyo which is still too low in my opinion.

6 ( +8 / -2 )

This data, although concerning, comes from December and is already out of date. Likely, with the new variants, it is significantly higher by now. But I wonder if the government will be concerned enough to order an immediate larger-scale study. Probably not with the politics of the Olympics. My guess is that they will continue with their dithering head-in-sand approach to Covid.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Aptly demonstrates how weak the virus is if those people had had it but didn't realise

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

jpn_guy.

Good math, but there's a major flaw in your reasoning. Your assuming that all the people exposed to the virus have developed traceable antibodies but that is not necessarily true.

0.91% of people survey had measurable antibodies.

That means that 99.09% of people did not.

That is not evidence that they have not already fought off the virus. They may already been exposed but the virus was so weak it didn't even infect their system.

So you should be counting all the people already exposed to the virus in the denominator, which could be upto 10,000,000 people.

At the very least, you have to explain why this "pandemic" virus has not reached 99.09% of the population after circulating openly in the air for over a year.

Either the virus is extremely weak or not contagious.

-11 ( +3 / -14 )

No no no, from the official intercensal estimate the population of the Tokyo prefecture is 13.506 million people (with 9.214 million living within Tokyo's 23 wards) not 37 million. With a 0.91% rate, that’s around 122,900 people having antibodies. The current number of people tested positive to the covid is 102,845, so the difference is way smaller to what you claim it is.

This should be the final nail in the "Not enough testing conspiracy crews argument"

But don't hold your breath, they will keep bleating on about tests and not being enough...

2 ( +5 / -3 )

No no no, from the official intercensal estimate the population of the Tokyo prefecture is 13.506 million people (with 9.214 million living within Tokyo's 23 wards) not 37 million. With a 0.91% rate, that’s around 122,900 people having antibodies. The current number of people tested positive to the covid is 102,845, so the difference is way smaller to what you claim it is.

That being said, the 0.91% rate comes from a survey that covered only 3,399 people in Tokyo which is still too low in my opinion.

For months people have been complaining about the lack of testing, but this result suggests they did the PCR well and caught all the positives. Hard to believe, maybe they will get a more realistic result if they increase the survey coverage.

Did those who tested positive for antibodies also have positive PCR in the past few months?

All those infected during the first wave would test negative for antibodies.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

All those infected during the first wave would test negative for antibodies.

Excellent point, so the actual number of infected is far higher than the survey suggests.

Further increasing the denominator thus decreasing the death rate:

Sorry for all the science and math stuff.

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

At the very least, you have to explain why this "pandemic" virus has not reached 99.09% of the population after circulating openly in the air for over a year.

Because measures, like wearing masks and not meeting in large numbers in crowded spaces are working?

If we went back to normal the rate would shoot up, wouldn't it?

In fact , we have seen infection does rise signficiantly up every time measures are weakened. It went up due to "Go Travel". It went up massively around January 10, 10 days after more people were breaking restrictions to spend New Year with there family. It goes down when an SOE is imposed and goes back up when the SOE is lifted.

We can see from else where what happens if we let it get worse - in other parts of the world, like North Italy and NY last year and Manaus, Brazil now, so many people are dying that the health system is under severe strain.

But, OK, maybe you are right and many more have been infected (not sure where you are getting 10 mil. from though) - this would mean that we are lucky that we have a weaker strain here in Japan for whatever reason and even if we let up all restrictions, we would not end up with a NY or Manaus like situation. How confident are you of that?

It's a pretty risky proposition isn't it? - you would literally be betting people's lives that the reasons we have not seen so many deaths is not the success of measures taken, but rather a fundamental difference between infectiousness in Japan and in those other areas where it has gone very, very wrong. Where is the evidence your would require to gamble with lives like that ?

A further point to bare in mind is that the more transmissions there are the greater the change of mutation into something even worse, which we are now seeing with the variants that have emerged from places like the UK that did not get their response together. Mutation-wise, the more people that have the disease, the more you are rolling the dice.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

@virusrex

Tokyo prefecture is 14 millions inhabitants, not 37 millions. But yes it's 0.91% and not 0.19% so in the end you're right.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

You will never read such a headline, because it is not fear mongering.

The fear mongering people have to be feeded.

Being aware of how the disease is not fear mongering, its trying to be prepared for the current situation, knowledge will free you from fear, but that require for you to abandon irrational beliefs on conspiracies and understand the value of even limited information.

That is not evidence that they have not already fought off the virus. They may already been exposed but the virus was so weak it didn't even infect their system.

No, that is completely wrong. Of course details are important, but if the survey was done as in summer last year the sensitivity of the tests is such that a negative result means the they had an infection on at least the last 8 months, that is good enough to get an idea of the seroprevalence.

Also, if the virus was so weak that it didn't infect that means the person has no adquired immunity against this virus, and it is in the same conditions as someone never exposed the next time it comes in contact with the infection.

All those infected during the first wave would test negative for antibodies.

Citation needed, there is no report where people lose completely the antibodies against the disease in such a short time.

You may be confused between keeping levels considered adequate for effective virus neutralization and levels enough to be detected, they are not the same at all.

Tokyo prefecture is 14 millions inhabitants, not 37 millions. But yes it's 0.91% and not 0.19% so in the end you're right.

Its true, went wide with the Tokyo metro numbers, but the point is that the serologic survey do not contradict the results from the case detection. Still the sampling is very limited for the results found, so it is difficult to think they got a precise number, it may be that the real seroprevalence is higher (not by a lot but enough to make it more than 1 or 2%)

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Keep in mind that antibodies fade over time, then the percent who were already infected may be a lot higher.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

All those infected during the first wave would test negative for antibodies.

Citation needed, there is no report where people lose completely the antibodies against the disease in such a short time.

A little while ago JT reported on a study saying that antibodies decreased rapidly but were still barely detectable up to 6 months after infection. Before that, there were countless reports trying to scare us telling us that antibodies were very short lived, a couple of months.

You are likely confusing the above antibody test with the more complicated T cell test.

Antibodies are short lived, but the memory T cells can last a life time, allowing you to mount a rapid immune response years after infection.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

A little while ago JT reported on a study saying that antibodies decreased rapidly but were still barely detectable up to 6 months after infection.

Again, citation. You may be completely misrepresenting what you read. Antibodies decrease, but again not from all patients to undetectable levels, one thing is to say most of the patients have decreasing levels of antibody, another very different is to say all of them will become seronegative after less than a year.

And no, there is no confusion with cellular immunity, that do not decrease in any important way for related coronavirus infections even after years.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Tokyo prefecture is 14 millions inhabitants, not 37 millions. But yes it's 0.91% and not 0.19% so in the end you're right.

The population of the Tokyo metropolitan area is in fact over 37 million. Redo your math.

37.393 million residents

The Greater Tokyo Area is the most populous metropolitan area in the world, with more than 37.393 million residents as of 2020.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tokyo#:~:text=The%20Greater%20Tokyo%20Area%20is,million%20residents%20as%20of%202020.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

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