A poster for the suspended Go To Travel campaign Photo: RikiWeb
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Go To Travel push linked to surge in COVID-19 infections: study

57 Comments
By Rocky Swift

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It was fun while it lasted. I bet that pilot actor in the advertisement above feels like a right nitwit now.

4 ( +13 / -9 )

"Unless we make efforts now, the spread of the coronavirus will continue and the state of emergency will drag on and on," Japanese Economy Minister Yasutoshi Nishimura told a news conference.

"We"? I hope youre referring to your own government. It could have "made efforts" by granting emergency authorization to vaccines already show safe and effective by clinical testing overseas. But instead, our misery will likely "drag on and on" much longer than necessary. Thanks for your non-effort!

34 ( +35 / -1 )

Jeff- well said!

18 ( +20 / -2 )

i think that goverment has made many unnecessary mistakes, it still does.

These mistakes have put people's lives in danger , Many people have died and They still are.

17 ( +19 / -2 )

We"? I hope youre referring to your own government. It could have "made efforts" by granting emergency authorization to vaccines already show safe and effective by clinical testing overseas. But instead, our misery will likely "drag on and on" much longer than necessary. Thanks for your non-effort!

You didn't know they have to consult the panel, for the panel, of the Panel of experts before they even think about approving it right? We will see vaccines LAST due to J Gov't dragging out everything as long as possible. I am sure they have a "5 year" plan for the rollout, just as everything else is a "5 year" plan.

11 ( +12 / -1 )

"the number of travel-associated COVID-19 cases that involved crossing of prefectural borders increased during the Go To Travel campaign."

What will be surprised is if Go To Travel campaign decrease infection, which not the case of course. Just to shows something obvious, especially to proponent of this Go To Travel campaign.

8 ( +9 / -1 )

About 20% of the almost 4,000 COVID-19 cases included in the study during the May to August period were travel-related.

GoTo Travel didn't start until the final week of July.

Imagine if the study period was from Aug to Nov?

15 ( +16 / -1 )

its a no brainer that this government campaign would increase the spread of CCP virus. How can they get away with this and not be held responsible.

11 ( +14 / -3 )

Lives versus hotel revenue. That was the calculation and the lost lives were the results and now of course more economic damage under the state of emergency. So dumb. The economy cannot run effectively when people are at risk for dying by being out and about. Vaccines need to be delivered now, 100% testing set up, Olympics cancelled and lock downs enforced. China has done it right and their economy is growing by 2-3%. Japan has another year of stagnation ahead of it if not longer.

13 ( +14 / -1 )

GoTo was a classic example of the govt’s priorities. Economy before the welfare of the entire population of the country. Short sighted though, because the Go To Spread Virus Everywhere campaign will ensure the economy suffers due to the obviously subsequent increase in cases. Dumb dumb dumb people

11 ( +13 / -2 )

I fear Japan is travelling down the same path and may repeat another mistake by trying to host the Olympics. I understand the motive behind Go To Travel and I believe the intentions were good however the execution failed. It certainly contributed to the spread of the virus and it should have been shut down at least 1 month earlier than they did.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

The study found the incidence of travel-associated COVID-19 cases during the campaign was around three times greater than the control period of one month prior to its kick-off.

Who would have thought that the greater incidence of elderly travelers would give rise to trebling infections?

Unbelievable!

10 ( +10 / -0 )

Of course the GoTo Travel nonsense spread the virus. Only a fool would think otherwise.

Look around the world and show me one other example of a mass domestic travel campaign being held - and actively promoted by the government - during this pandemic.

Look at the ways in which international travel was being affected. I wonder why that was happening? Possibly because everyone understood that travel was spreading the virus.

It beggars belief the absolute numskulls running this country.

13 ( +14 / -1 )

its a no brainer that this government campaign would increase the spread of CCP virus.

Hey @OxycodinToday, your statement is more appropriate if you remove the word "campaign".

6 ( +7 / -1 )

If people want to take a risk and enjoy life, let them. If people want to stay home a be afraid of the world, let them.

Stop shaming people who want to live a normal life.

-22 ( +0 / -22 )

Stop shaming people who want to live a normal life.

Actively spreading an infection actively kills people. So people who want to "live a normal life" during a pandemic should absolutely be shamed.

19 ( +19 / -0 )

@Simian Lane

It was fun while it lasted. I bet that pilot actor in the advertisement above feels like a right nitwit now.

Yeah, I doubt that he is a comedian and a very funny one at that he would have got paid squillions for doing that commercial.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Intellectually lazy politicians that couldn't do the hard data crunching and just winged it to try to energize the economy. It's the same type of thinking that got us the stupid abenomasks. So now all we have to show for the LDP efforts against Covid are the masks, go to and a medical system teetering on collapse.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

I wonder how many hotel employees, small business owners etc didnt commit suicide thanks to go-to.

But of course only 80 year olds dying of corona matters

-11 ( +1 / -12 )

Rocket scientists!

7 ( +7 / -0 )

@Whatsnext

If people want to take a risk and enjoy life, let them. If people want to stay home a be afraid of the world, let them. Stop shaming people who want to live a normal life.

Under normal circumstances I would agree with you. However the virus transmits by person to person contact, or more precisely people inhaling respirable virii emitted when someone coughts, sneezes, or likely when people exhale in any form. In this case if a normal life entails packing trains, etc. it will increase transmission of the virus thus leading to more cases and increased mortality. I do not believe this can be refuted.

@carpslidy

I wonder how many hotel employees, small business owners etc didnt commit suicide thanks to go-to. But of course only 80 year olds dying of corona matters

I fully agree there is an economic impact to small business owners. I know a few of them who I have tried to support. However not only 80 year olds are dying of this. I know a person in their 50s (younger than me) in excellent health who died from the virus. He had none of the known co-morbidities. I am also in favor of Go To Travel but not now and not one or two months ago. Once the numbers are down to a sufficient level (someone needs to determine what that is) or once transmission or severe cases are reduced then restart the program. In the mean time cancel the Olympics and divert whatever funding can be diverted to support these people.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

I wonder how many hotel employees, small business owners etc didnt commit suicide thanks to go-to.

But of course only 80 year olds dying of corona matters

We don't live in a binary world where these are the only two options. The governement should have put all the money they used to promote the Go To campaigns into simply helping struggling businesses. Lives saved all around. Less money for the greedy governement of course.

9 ( +10 / -1 )

I wonder if opening the border to foreigners and permeant resident contributed to the third wave. For example, Both the UK variant and Brazilian variant came in with foreign travelers. I think there should be a study.

-14 ( +1 / -15 )

For example, Both the UK variant and Brazilian variant came in with foreign travelers.

They could also have come at any point with japanese citizens coming back to their country from abroad.

11 ( +11 / -0 )

Oh, duh! Do you reckon? I wonder which team of experts came up with this obvious conclusion?

5 ( +5 / -0 )

“ Go To Travel push linked to surge in COVID-19 infections: study “

A domestic tourism campaign promoted by Japan's Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga may have contributed to a sharp increase in coronavirus infection cases in the country, a prominent adviser to the government's pandemic response said.

Encouraging people to travel in a middle of a pandemic = more infections. And they need to do studies for this?! Apparently nowadays it doesn’t take much to be considered an “ adviser “ / “ expert “.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Go To may have contributed '

There is no 'may' kind of a doubt about it whatsoever.

Hiroshi Nishiura, who has acted as an advisor to the government's pandemic response. 

Well, we know which Hiroshi will not be making it onto the next expert panel anytime soon. Suga purges are well known.

About 20% of the almost 4,000 COVID-19 cases included in the study during the May to August period were travel-related.

You dont say, anyone still remember Suga on TV in December that infections caused by his pet project only numbered a few dozen?

8 ( +8 / -0 )

"Nishiura has acted as an advisor to the Japanese government’s pandemic response, usually advocating for stricter measures to control the spread. "

and that of course did not influence his conclusions.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

@Redbear

I wonder if opening the border to foreigners and permeant resident contributed to the third wave. For example, Both the UK variant and Brazilian variant came in with foreign travelers. I think there should be a study.

From what I have read in various Japanese news sources the first known UK variant was brought in by a Japanese pilot of Japan Airlines after he failed to abide by the quarantine rules. Based upon that I fully agree that his actions and a full contact tracing and cases which can be attributed to him should be fully studied.

11 ( +11 / -0 )

Thanks obvious study.

hotels have bars and restaurants, swimming pools and gyms. The very same venues that are being heavily restricted now.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

For example, Both the UK variant and Brazilian variant came in with foreign travelers.

They could also have come at any point with japanese citizens coming back to their country from abroad.

Thats precisely what happened...it was a Japanese male who brought tbe UK virus in. Redbear knows it very well but has to follow racist narrative.

14 ( +14 / -0 )

If people want to take a risk and enjoy life, let them. If people want to stay home a be afraid of the world, let them.

Stop shaming people who want to live a normal life.

If we all understand the threat this virus poses and act responsibly, we can all get back to living a normal life sooner.

If however, people keep denying the truth of the situation and insisting they needn’t change their habits because life is some sort of utopian TV drama, then this is just going to drag on longer.

So, yes those who want to live a normal life deserve shaming because it’s genuinely not helping the situation.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

Both the UK variant and Brazilian variant came in with foreign travelers.

Or it could just be how the virus naturally mutates.

The ‘UK variant’ is only named that way because that’s where it was discovered, not because its specific to the UK.

It could’ve been discovered in Japan if they were testing enough people and analysing the findings in order to work out how prevalent different strains are around the country. Instead, the government was more focused on the Olympics and GoTo Travel.

10 ( +10 / -0 )

Dumb dumb dumb people

a.k.a. LDP politicians

5 ( +6 / -1 )

I understand the motive behind Go To Travel and I believe the intentions were good however the execution failed.

How could the execution not have failed?

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Yeah, I doubt that he is a comedian and a very funny one at that

Yes.

he would have got paid squillions for doing that commercial.

I think you are grossly overestimating what these comedians and talent make.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

It was go to trouble not to travel.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

We used Go To ourselves once, in early September, so I can hardly climb on a high horse here, but it should have been cancelled much earlier when cases were rising again.

Tourism is notorious for claiming that someone staying in a 10,000 yen hotel has a 50,000 or 100,000 yen effect on the local economy, just read any pro-tourism article for examples, but I think what Go To Eat and Travel did was send a message that everything was normal and people were free to go about as they please. The campaigns themselves may be responsible for say 20% of infections, but the message sent by Go To right up until late December will be responsible for far more.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

That chubby comedian must feel stupid for being the poster boy for this stupid idea.

They could've made this a prefectural travel campaign where it only worked if you didn't vacation outside your prefecture. Coulda helped the businesses and kept people in one area.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

The study found the incidence of travel-associated COVID-19 cases during the campaign was around three times greater than the control period of one month prior to its kick-off.

About 20% of the almost 4,000 COVID-19 cases included in the study during the May to August period were travel-related.

Does it mean, control is the data in the period between May and Aug? (and the following months, about 60% of all cases were travel-related?). About the definition "travel-related", did the study distinguish between GoTo and non-Goto travelling cases?

All GoTo were suspended by Dec 28th last year. In making a quick calculation, the spead was supposed to cease and decline by the mid Jan. Yet the reality has been going the other way. The prediction seems to fail. I now wonder how critics explain about this odd phenomenon (remember, they kept blaming only GoTo while ingoring other factors, saying "if GoTo is stopped, the case numbers would go down").

In fact I have been also critical to GoTo on the ground that the policy is rather unfair and ineffective redistribution, legacy of red-tape. For epistemological view, I am not yet certain if GoTo is solely responsible.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

@SandyBeachHeaven

"Bring back GoTo?... I love travel and restaurants!"

... maybe not?

1 ( +2 / -1 )

If people want to take a risk and enjoy life, let them.

And let them use funds that should be being used to stop the infection, not spread it? If you want to do and play, by all means do. On your own money.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

You think?

3 ( +3 / -0 )

They could've made this a prefectural travel campaign where it only worked if you didn't vacation outside your prefecture.

That makes too much sense, but that would mean people can just drive, so ANA, JAL, JR, etc would not have benefited.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Stupid is as stupid does.

A slight departure from Forest Gump, but I'm sure you get the corollary.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

 the spead was supposed to cease and decline by the mid Jan.

Most indicators, with the exception of deaths, have been decreasing from Jan 12 very clearly and steadily.

I personally think it's just number manipulating by not testing, but I guess it's not impossible it's because of less travel. In either case, extrapolating the decline, we are right on target for lifting the SOE and restating GoTo on time on Feb 7. /s

5 ( +5 / -0 )

"Shocking", said nobody.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

They could've made this a prefectural travel campaign where it only worked if you didn't vacation outside your prefecture. Coulda helped the businesses and kept people in one area.

Maybe could have worked in some prefectures but my old coworker moved to the inaka of Chiba and didn’t want the diseased crowd living near the Tokyo border to come to her area. She sent a text to one of our staff who lives in Chiba City cancelling a New Year catch-up for this reason. I don’t know if she included a winking emoji.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Nishiura was dubbed by the media as "Uncle 80%" for his advice that people reduce their social interactions by that amount.

I feel like questioning his credential and academic integurity. In last April, Nishiura with his SIR model argued that 850,000 Japanese would fall ill seriously; of whom 420,000 would die if there weren't any anti-virus interventions, and that 80% contact cut or hard lockdown is necessary.

Japan has since gone into no lockdown, only a mild SOE in a very short period; To date (1/22) there have been less than 5,000 total deaths (with this pace being kept, it would technically take 80+ years to reach his predicted numbers).

His advice wasn't taken while his prediction is totally off the mark. It must be somthing wrong with his SIR modeling. But "Uncle 80%" has yet to account for it .... has there since any update on the model? With his silence, how could we possibly learn from the mistakes?

Almost a year on, we better be reflective, check and give feedback on what experts said or predicted; and what they turn out to be.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

A domestic tourism campaign promoted by Japan's Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga may have contributed to a sharp increase in coronavirus infection cases in the country, a prominent adviser to the government's pandemic response said.

Duh?

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Should be called Go To Travel Idiots!

What morons encourage travel in pandemic?

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Just because you want to go outside and enjoy life with your family and friends does not mean you are actively trying to kill people.

The infection rate from asymptomatic people is extremely low and the death rate was over blown from the beginning. This is simply not a pandemic and I'm sick of all the larping.

More people die from pneumonia than this disease. It's such a fraud.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

Hardly surprising.

I realize that trying to keep the economy ticking over, is essential to late-stage capitalism but to have this scheme during a pandemic?

Just because you want to go outside and enjoy life with your family and friends does not mean you are actively trying to kill people.

Of course not. But claiming the disease is a fraud and posting misleading opinion masked (no pun intended) as information, is actively pushing a morally dubious agenda.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Just because you want to go outside and enjoy life with your family and friends does not mean you are actively trying to kill people.

It depends on how you do it. If you're doing it carelessly and spreading the virus, then at the very least it means you don't care if they die.

The infection rate from asymptomatic people is extremely low and the death rate was over blown from the beginning. This is simply not a pandemic and I'm sick of all the larping.

Infection rates from symptomatic and asympotomatic people are something that scientists have been working out as we go along, as we didn't have all the data at first (naturally). The virus is also mutating (naturally) so infection rates are changing. Leaving the spread of the virus unchecked would have lead to a lot more mutation as there would have been more virus going around.

More people die from pneumonia than this disease. It's such a fraud.

May depend on the country or year, but for example last year twice as many people died from Covid as the recent average for Flu & Pneumonia combined. And that is with lockdowns and a massive public health effort. Those lockdowns etc.. reduced flu and pneumonia deaths by at least 50%, so if they had the same effect on Covid then they avoided the UK getting 4 times as many deaths from Covid as Flu and Pneumonia combined.

Either way, there are myriad ways that the government could have supported the economy, businesses and industry that didn't involve encouraging people to do the two things that are probably the riskiest things to do in a pandemic. That way you'd have gotten the safety benefits and the economic ones.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

While the government has said there is no evidence that its Go To Travel campaign spread the coronavirus

Then why telling people not to travel to other regions during the holidays? How was it that the UK strain was found in Shizuoka prefecture? How was it possible for the first State of Emergency in the nation been the northernmost island of Hokkaido, with a population of only 5 or 6 million vs 36 million in the capital?

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Who woulda thunk it? That not only encouraging travel, but subsidizing it, in the midst of a pandemic would lead to an increase of cases. The wizardry of PM Suga, on display - not just a failure of leadership but a large instance of causing great harm to the body social. A witless display by a career politician lacking in vision and care.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Look how irritating that poster is. Good lord.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

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