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Hiroshima to conduct PCR tests for 800,000 to battle COVID-19

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Testing is not going to "curb" anything,

-37 ( +11 / -48 )

The prefecture aims to conduct PCR tests for 800,000 people in the city of Hiroshima, which has a population of 1.2 million. The tests will be free and voluntary.

Wow!

That is very nice!

Good Plan Hiroshima!

26 ( +37 / -11 )

Yubaru

but it would be interesting to see how many will come positive.

21 ( +27 / -6 )

Leadership!

20 ( +27 / -7 )

Good for Hiroshima. Get ready for the deniers to claim it is "unnecessary" to step up testing or test anyone unless they already have multiple acute symptoms.

This will hopefully save lives.

22 ( +29 / -7 )

well done Hiroshima.

18 ( +25 / -7 )

If this is successful, the central Government will copy this and take credit for it.

23 ( +27 / -4 )

If this is successful, the central Government will copy this and take credit for it.

Suga-san et al. does not want the truth.

10 ( +15 / -5 )

I wonder if they cleared this with the central government, because this may backfire exposing the real situation.

18 ( +24 / -6 )

Finally!!! Good on ya, Hiroshima!

11 ( +16 / -5 )

Way to go Hiroshima, free voluntary testing!

That’s been the case here from day 1 I can’t believe Japanese had to pay!

18 ( +21 / -3 )

Good.

The testing system in this country is absolutely inexcusable.

I got sick a couple of months ago. It turned out to be nothing serious, I THINK, but I had a cough, mild fever, etc. Enough to make me worry.

If I wanted a test to see if I had Covid, I would have first had to go to city hall to have a consultation with their special office. If I passed that hurdle, they would refer me to a clinic to see actual doctors. The actual doctors would not perform a Covid test, but rather perform a series of other tests to make sure I qualified to get an actual Covid test. If I did, then they would refer me somewhere else to get an actual Covid test. More likely though at some point in that convoluted process they'd just send me home because they reject most people.

This is just insane. People need to know in a timely manner if they have just a cold, in which case they can go to work and shopping, etc, or if they have a deadly transmissible disease that requires them to quarantine themselves for weeks.

To this day I don't know if I had Covid or not.

Just about every other developed country by now has such a system in place. Japan doesn't even come close. It doesn't have a testing system, it has a "preventing people from getting tested" system. Its a disgrace.

38 ( +44 / -6 )

It's a waste of money program (benefiting only the testing agency). Aimed for voluntary residents, it can't be even a survey data.

Beef up the local healthcare capacity first. Tokyo and else are facing the same problem despite warnings.

-32 ( +4 / -36 )

Hiroshima Prefecture said on Friday it will carry out large-scale polymerase chain reaction (PCR) testing to curb the spread of coronavirus, a rarity in a nation that lags far behind many other countries in the number of tests conducted.

The prefecture aims to conduct PCR tests for 800,000 people in the city of Hiroshima, which has a population of 1.2 million. The tests will be free and voluntary.

In fact, it was announced directly from the City of Hiroshima, a designated city whose autonomy is strong and independent of its home Hiroshima prefecture. According to the plan, it only covers the four wards of downtown areas. But quite many people commute across neighboring towns and outskirts. I still don't see their goal and strategy.

-25 ( +1 / -26 )

At last, some leaders with their heads screws on. Hopefully this shames everyone else to follow suit.

15 ( +19 / -4 )

Will 800.000 get tested ?

And what would happen if 100.000 of them appear covided ?

The point is keeping under control so that hospital can manage. Is that the case or not ?

-13 ( +4 / -17 )

@Rainyday

I'm always shocked to hear how hard it is for some people to take the test. I went to a local doctor with a fever, and he just said I should take the test. I took it that day, he administered it, and I didn't have to pay for it. I had to pay for the MRI scan to see if I had pneumonia though. Got the results two days later.

I guess every play does it differently.

-9 ( +2 / -11 )

Testing is not going to "curb" anything

If it results in SHN (with penalty conditions) or quarantine.. than it could curb..but any enforcement is unlikely to happen.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

Just about every other developed country by now has such a system in place. Japan doesn't even come close.

Thats because as much as it pretends to be Japan is not really a developed country apart from a few economic metrics.

. I went to a local doctor with a fever, and he just said I should take the test. I took it that day, he administered it, and I didn't have to pay for it. 

Is this in Japan? If so , that certainly would be an exception to the rule.

13 ( +14 / -1 )

Well done Hiroshima. If only the land of ineptitude, Tokyo, behaved in such a manner.

12 ( +14 / -2 )

Stat Facts: You can flip a coin 800.000 times and according to statiticians, 100% can come out negative or positive, or anything in between. It is random law which relates to entropy. I bet 100% negative. I believe in math. That is why I do not foolishly buy lottery tickets. There is 100% chance there will never be a winner. That is math and that is a fact.

But good luck Hiroshima. I totally enjoyed Okinimiyaki Villa a month back.

-26 ( +1 / -27 )

The prefecture aims to conduct PCR tests for 800,000 people in the city of Hiroshima, which has a population of 1.2 million. The tests will be free and voluntary.

Hiroshima will be testing virtually everyone in the city! If completed as intended, this will be an excellent indicator of how widespread the virus is (or isn't) within Japan.

10 ( +11 / -1 )

@Yubaru

Testing is not going to "curb" anything,

I disagree.

The testing will allow for identification of those without symptoms and action can be taken to have them quarantine/isolate which will then in turn reduce the number of infections by asymptomatic carriers of the virus.

The testing will provide a baseline of the true infection rate in Hiroshima and allow for subsequent testing to establish a real trend as to whether or not cases are increasing, leveling off, or hopefully relatively soon, decreasing.

It is important Hiroshima follow up with a large enough sample size in the future to establish the trend which can be used to make an intelligent and scientific determination as to whether to continue or end a State of Emergency.

4 ( +7 / -3 )

@ rainydayToday 03:35 pm JST

I got sick a couple of months ago. It turned out to be nothing serious, I THINK, but I had a cough, mild fever, etc. Enough to make me worry.

If I wanted a test to see if I had Covid, I would have first had to go to city hall to have a consultation with their special office.

Same for me last March after an overseas business trip.

But I didn’t go so I don’t know what would have happened.

From your text, you are supposing things, but If you would have been, it could have been different from the story

-6 ( +0 / -6 )

@SandyBeachHeaven your point being?

11 ( +14 / -3 )

Encouraging free testing for whoever wants to get tested.

Fantastic initiative Hiroshima. Wonder if these numbers will be counted in the daily tally or not considered, as it happens with tests taken in private clinics.

Do not have hopes Tokyo will do the same, it will never happen unfortunately.

That would disclose the real numbers, expose the lack of leadership and inaction of the japanese government.

The system will not allow the out-of-control spread to be revealed, otherwise “matane” Olympics and Suga.

6 ( +11 / -5 )

I believe in math. 

Belief is not the same as understanding. Try working out the probability of tossing a coin 800,000 times and them all coming out heads.

5 ( +8 / -3 )

Nice job! I’m on my pushy headed down there now!

2 ( +4 / -2 )

That means that they are ready to announce the cancellation of the Olympics. IF indeed this is what's going to happen..

I don't mean to be a Negative Nancy, BUT..

I mean, I'll believe it when I see it happen. I remember Masayoshi Son last year offering tests that would have cost only a couple of thousand yen and then.. NOTHING. Didn't hear a peep about it afterwards. So if they do it, my hat off to them, but I'm just going to wait and see.

4 ( +7 / -3 )

@Rainyday

I'm always shocked to hear how hard it is for some people to take the test. I went to a local doctor with a fever, and he just said I should take the test. I took it that day, he administered it, and I didn't have to pay for it. I had to pay for the MRI scan to see if I had pneumonia though. Got the results two days later.

I guess every play does it differently.

Some people continue to go to useless quacks when there are better doctors around.

-10 ( +0 / -10 )

They say coronavirus is transmissible two days before one develops symptoms, and some of those who are infected do not necessarily visit clinics in a timely manner. We want to catch those people and prevent further infection," he said.

You want to lockdown and keep on catching them actually for this to make sense.

Perhaps spending money on treatment , equipment and staff would help more ?

-7 ( +1 / -8 )

I agree with one of the readers above. It's a great thing to test so many but what if there is a huge number of positives, like several thousands or more? Does Hiroshima have enough hospital beds or quarantine facilities? Or will they just be told to stay home for two weeks?

In any case, it is a good decision. I wish Tokyo and Yokohama would at least test 20,000 a day, including weekends and holidays.

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

Seems like they will use pooled testing. Good job Hiroshima.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

I hope this is well planned.

I wonder how many tests they can do daily and how long the turnaround time will be.

Test results coming out very late has limited usefulness

1 ( +3 / -2 )

@Yubaru, You really have no idea why testing is important? Really?

6 ( +9 / -3 )

Tokyo should do the same!

5 ( +6 / -1 )

@albaleoToday 04:49 pm JST

I believe in math. 

Belief is not the same as understanding. Try working out the probability of tossing a coin 800,000 times and them all coming out heads.

Mathematics has nothing to do with beliefs and superstitions and black cats crossing your path.

The math for the probability of tossing a coin 800,000 times is constant. It can land on heads or tails 800,000 times equally split in half or all at once. Haven't you studied math and statistics and probabilities ever?

Try using a six sided dice with only one number on it. Might make it easier for you to see what happens.

The number of possible false positives in Hiroshima, a lovely city by the way with great Okinomiyaki which I had there a month back will give you various views on what repercussions can occur.

-18 ( +0 / -18 )

Yubaru: "Testing is not going to "curb" anything,"

Ah, I think maybe that came out a little wrong on your part. Yeah, the tests themselves won't literally curb anything, but imagine if quite a number of people turn out positive that are asymptotic and had no idea they were carrying (or ones who might wonder and do indeed have it). They may well just avoid others they would have infected otherwise, which might in turn indeed curb the steep incline this nation is facing.

8 ( +9 / -1 )

Anyway, good on Hiroshima. Imagine if other governments across the nation did this.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

I'm always shocked to hear how hard it is for some people to take the test.

Yes, especially if you go to a doctor with zero critical thinking and indecisive which is most of them.

4 ( +7 / -3 )

Japan testing only those with symptoms is just not enough. Worse is the hurdle you have to get through to be tested when you have no symptoms.

Positive rate is around 50% and that's only for people with symptoms. If the asymptomatic rate is to be believed, we will have an increase of 400,000 in positive cases after Hiroshima finished the testing.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

It's about time somebody here decided to do something proactive... now that other countries are already innoculating their citizens.

9 ( +9 / -0 )

It can land on heads or tails 800,000 times equally split in half or all at once.

“...equally spilt in half or all at once”.

Total gibberish.

All at once? What? This sentence makes no sense.

Coins are a bad example in the first place. The heavier side of the coin influences the outcome of the toss as does which side was facing up at the time the coin was flipped.

There is also the possibility of it landing on its side. The odds on this would depend on factors such as the shape of the coin.

Basic physics.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Why can't Tokyo do the same

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Rainy day .... this is NOT the case in Tokyo. If you have symptoms or have had contact with a known covid-19 infected person, you can easily get a free test.

Please stop spreading fake news. If they didn’t offer you a test it was because you obviously didn’t need one. As you stated you DID NOT have covid.

-9 ( +1 / -10 )

Congratz Hiroshima,

you will be able to assess the situation then make a plan to handle it.

Very very rare to see some lead make a decision based on facts in Japan.

i Hope they won't have problems for making the decision not to hide problems under the carpet.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Blanket testing should be the theme of the day. Testing is not done to monitor the virus, it is done to prevent the spread.

Preventative measures once the carrier population is also identified are obvious and the poor souls that do get tested positive should have a government supplied support package offered.

Unlike other countries Japan is not so forgiving in the workspace and those who have to isolate for 2 weeks to a month may not be accepted back to their original jobs.

If the government had an ounce of sensibility, they would realize that funds need to be set up not only for the sick, but for those labelled as carrying the disease.

How about digging into that big bag of 3.2 billion yen still required to support the not-so-necessary Olympic infrastructure and redirect it to those most in need. The taxpayer whom you originally acquired these monies from

8 ( +8 / -0 )

The prefecture aims to conduct PCR tests for 800,000 people in the city of Hiroshima, which has a population of 1.2 million. The tests will be free and voluntary.

I can't believe my eyes! ... Let me read that again ... Halleluja!! A miracle has happened!! Or maybe not, it's not Koike nor Suga and his cronies... So there are people in higher positions who have common sense, good! A good start, bravo!!

2 ( +4 / -2 )

 I do not think you could pass an entrance exam to any class in English fundamentals I might offer

But you posted:

It can land on heads or tails 800,000 times equally split in half or all at once

A Doctor of Philosophy in Special Education wrote this?

Sounds a bit iffy.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

@Jimizo:

It sure does sound iffy. I agree. Thank god quick chat on a forum was not a part of my first dissertation.

-9 ( +1 / -10 )

Thumbs up

-10 ( +0 / -10 )

I hope they weed out false positives and use a CT value of 25 or something because otherwise it'll probably cause unnecessary panic

-6 ( +3 / -9 )

Wobot

usually you do not panic unless you have it or your family member has it.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

And. What E X A C T L Y will testing accomplish at this 'late date'? It is moot. You would be compelled to regularly re-test all those who do not have coronavirus. Until the numbers bottom out in either direction.

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

Good for Hiroshima but isnt it a bit late in the game really its been a year now this virus is so far spread it is untrackable anymore unless all prefectures get on board with it.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

@YUBARU... Not sure why you post this? This should be all about contact tracing (and stronger social measures that won't happen here). It is nice to see a Japan Government official actually take a position and not try to shade everything!!! I prefer transparency.

No testing & no contact tracing = bad news!

Proactive testing & contact tracing = curbing, in your words.

At least is an attempt to do something besides light recommendations with zero consequences.

I, for one, want our lives back!

We can do it!!!!

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Will 800.000 get tested ?

And what would happen if 100.000 of them appear covided ?

The point is keeping under control so that hospital can manage. Is that the case or not ?

Afraid of the truth, the real numbers? It won't change anything because the health system is already collapsing. Honesty is always the right way! The "Safe Face" tactic, the obvious mistake of continuing the "Go to Campaign", the overall mishandling and downplaying of the outbreak because of the Olympics ... got them where they are now. Sorry but don't get me wrong, fearmongering should never be the pretext to solve anything! I'm from Germany and i understand the cultural differences, but that is my point of view. And I hope this move will make a difference, but I doubt it.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Living in Hiroshima,

The general sentiments are ,

I am not getting tested, what if it comes back positive?

What if lots of positives come back?

What's the point? Many people commute from outside the area covered?

The prefecture mayor also pleged government workers would return their 100,000 yen last year and that didnt happen.

Personally, I'll get tested if it helps return to normal sooner, but at the moment the merits are yet to be convincingly explained

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Hiroshima is a special place for me and my family. And now another reason to like Hiroshima even more. :)

2 ( +3 / -1 )

First time poster, long time reader. Probably last time posting as well...the haters will have a field day.

I notice when it comes to Covid, there are 2 general sentiments. Depending on the viewpoint, it's either met with derision or agreement. Completely usual reactions amongst people. That's how people are.

On one hand, you have the lockdown, test everyone, paranoia people. Despite numerous countries doing numerous lockdowns, vast testing and contact tracing, these countries are still failing. (Don't mention NZ...it's a nature reserve with people on it) This attitude is the majority.

On the other hand, you have people who believe that Japans' response, while flawed, is reasonable. These people are generally derided for voicing an opinion that is not the majority viewpoint. I generally agree with the latter.

I am not uncaring or heartless. I care deeply about people. But when the UN says that more children will probably die from starvation or malnutrition due to the after effects of lockdowns than the actual number of people dying from Covid, then we are doing it wrong. When doctors say we will face a Tsunami of cancer patients after Covid due to people not going to the doctor due to fear of Covid, then we are doing it wrong. When cases of suicide, drug, alcohol, spousal and child abuse are on the rise due to restrictions, then we are doing it wrong.

Look at every country that has tested and locked down a lot.Has it helped in the long run? (Leave out NZ and don't mention Taiwan...they were smart from the beginning...they don't trust China) The answer is no.

Despite Japan's flawed response, I would much rather be here than most countries in the world, including my own. Maybe all we can do is ride this out. Protect yourself and your loved ones. That's all you can really do.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Fantastic! Time to see some real data! We are going to be a lot wiser from this.

I hope JT will follow up on this story. I'm guessing NHK will probably not cover it ...

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I would like to see some investigative journalism as to why Japan lags other industrialized nations in acquiring and providing the Covid-19 vaccine. Our doctor said that as soon as he gets more doses, he will set up an appointment for us to come in and get it.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

A team of scientists (read Daily Yomuiri on-line) have come up with a vaccine for the COVID using the small pox vaccine and advancing it and it will go into 3 trials this spring.

For Hiroshima, for those who are for and or against testing this will put a solid light on what the true situation is and show either a need for more testing and or keep it at the way it is now. Ignorance is not a bliss and never really is especially when this virus is taking peoples' lives and filling up hospitals cutting off people from getting other life saving treatments.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

rainydayToday  03:35 pm JST

To this day I don't know if I had Covid or not.

How are your senses, taste and smell?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

1Glenn.... Its simple. Japan has a law that requires all medicines to be tested IN Japan. The reason given is to ensure the safety of the drug. The real reason is to slow down the introduction of foreign drugs to give a leg up to the Japanese competition. They didn't vision a global pandemic at the time.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Unpopular question, what does everyone think a "good" positivity rate and a "bad" one would be as far as expectations go? Given Japan's strategy for testing

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Testing is the absolute minimum first step. You can’t make a plan without knowing the extent of the problem. I hope other cities follow this example instead of pretending Covid is something that only other countries get.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Fantastic news!! This should have been done elsewhere in Japan last year but the scale finally matches the problem. Well done Hiroshima ! Also the free testing part will make a huge difference

3 ( +3 / -0 )

This will cause the dreaded shame for other cities/ prefectures and watch the all run to up the counting more to save face and look like they are not behind other. Good!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Unless your over 60 or have conditions that would be aggravated by catching the virus, if you get sick, just stay home and stay away from people. Not everyone who catches it needs to be admitted to the hospital. If your under 40 and in good health, you’ll get over it. It’s not a death sentence.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

I hope they can pull this off and also do random testing to see if the new strains are present to complete the picture.

The low level of testing nationwide creates uncertainty, which in turn affects consumer confidence, the birthrate, anxiety/mental health, .... Capturing near-complete infection data across a wide population and running big data analysis should help identify actual patterns of infection. Personally I suspect commuter trains must not be a significant transmission route, otherwise Japan would have been overrun long before now.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

I'm curious as to how many tests per day, and how quickly will they know the results (same day?).

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Just one more reason not to live in Tokyo but in Hiroshima instead.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

I would like to volunteer to take a Covid Vaccine but cannot find any place in Japan that would do it. Any connections anyone? I am willing to put my life on the line to help others.

-6 ( +0 / -6 )

A similar scheme in Liverpool, England was highly successful.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

*I would like to volunteer to take a Covid Vaccine but cannot find any place in Japan that would do it. Any connections anyone? *I am willing to put my life on the line to help others.

How would you getting inoculated save others?

And I think that - if you were at all serious - there’d be better places to seek information than an anonymous comment section on a news site.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Well done on Hiroshima to take the lead and show the central government one effective way to stem the growth of cases. Do not expect Tokyo to follow suit, numbers certainly are in the six figures, in and around the capital

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

It's good to see some people are enthusiastic about this, by saying, leadership, way to go Hiroshima. But this is not leadership. It's a start but man it's way too late. Japan as a whole is way behind other countries in testing. I'll give only one example per capital Canada has done 11 times more testing than Japan. I'm using Canada as an example because they haven't done the best job either, but they have done 11 times a better job. And they have 2 vaccines approved and being used for the last 2 months.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Pretty useless without strict 'border control' into Hiroshima from the rest of Japan.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Perhaps, at this point Hiroshima should aim for getting 800,000 vaccinations done ASAP. That would be most cost effective. And, would be real leadership.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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