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Coronavirus impact in Japan [consolidated]

Coronavirus impact in Japan [consolidated]

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Old Jul 28, 22, 4:21 pm   -   Wikipost
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This thread is for discussion of the coronavirus / COVID-19 pandemic as it relates to Japan. Non-Japan-related discussion should be taken either to the most relevant forum, the Coronavirus and Travel forum, or the OMNI forums.

UPDATE FOR TOURISTS LOOKING TO VISIT JAPAN AFTER COVID-19 BORDER RESTRICTIONS EASE
Japan does currently not allow entry for general tourism purposes. Most visa waivers are suspended, and travel to Japan for non resident foreigners generally require a visa. And quarantine as described for the countries and territories below.

UPDATE FOR PEOPLE WITH VISAS THAT ALLOW ENTRY INTO JAPAN
The quarantine requirements mentioned below will generally apply to entrants in Japan. As the conditions of who can obtain a visa for entry on exceptional circumstances are not clearly listed anywhere, it is necessary to confirm entry requirements with your local Japanese diplomatic representatives

Spouses and children of foreign permanent residents or Japanese nationals, can obtain visas for short term stays (up to 90 days) by applying in person or by mail at an overseas Japanese consulate. Required documentation includes application form, letter with reason for purpose of visit, bank statement and Koseki Tohon. Processing times have been reported as on the spot to up to one week.

From March 1st, business travelers, students and technical trainees can again enter Japan. There is a need to have a receiving organisation to apply for the visa. For business travelers, there will be one point of contact with the Ministry of Health Labour and Welfare. Though the full details are not published yet (as of typing on the 27th of February, please add them if you have seen them)

Business travelers must have a Japanese company or organization apply for a Certificate for Completion of Registration to the MHLW ERFS system. This is a two step process. The company must first register and then apply for the Certificate for the traveler. These can both be done online and completed in less than an hour.The website for doing this is https://entry.hco.mhlw.go.jp/.

After getting the certificate the traveler must apply for visa at the Japanese Consulate or Embassy with jurisdiction for where they reside. (They are quite strict about this. E.g. you can't apply while traveling in a foreign country.) The information on the Consulate pages state that you need Letter of Guarantee, Invitation Letter, etc when applying for the visa. In fact, however, if you have the EFRS certificate, all you need is the visa application, your passport and a photo. The Consulate will issue the visa within 5 days.

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UPDATE JAPANESE CITIZENS AND RETURNING FOREIGN JAPAN RESIDENTS

All people travelling to Japan has to present a negative PCR test taking no earlier than. 72 hours before departure to be able to board the flight. The certificate has to meet the information requirements and test types from the Japanese government.

https://www.mhlw.go.jp/content/000799426.pdf

From the 7th of June, passport number, nationality, signature and stamp from the doctor/medical institution are no longer required.
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It is advisable to upload the documents in advance via the fasttrack flow. For details please see https://www.hco.mhlw.go.jp/fasttrack/en/

You are required to fill an online arrival form and have a QR code ready when arriving: https://arqs-qa.followup.mhlw.go.jp/#/


From 1st of June the arrival process will be changed. Countries will be grouped in red, yellow, and blue.
  • Group “Red”:On-arrival test is required. 3-day quarantine at a government-designated facility is required, however, those who obtain a valid vaccination certificate may have 5-day home quarantine (or 3-day home quarantine + negative result of a voluntary test) instead.
  • Group “Yellow”:On-arrival test and 5-day home quarantine (or 3-day home quarantine + negative result of a voluntary test) are required, however, those who obtain a valid vaccination certificate are not required to have on-arrival test, home quarantine and other measures.
  • Group “Blue”:Regardless of the vaccination status of the entrants/returnees, on-arrival test, home quarantine and other measures are not required.
Vaccine certificate does require three doses of vaccines.
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Red countries:
Albania, Sierra Leone

Yellow countries:
Andorra, Angola, Antigua and Barbuda, Bahamas, Barbados, Belarus, Belize, Bhutan, Botswana, Brunei, Burkina Faso, Cabo Verde, Central African Republic, Chad, Comoros, Cook Island, Cuba, Cyprus, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Dominica, Egypt, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Eswatini, Federated States of Micronesia, Fiji, Gabon, Gambia, Georgia, Grenada, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, India, Kazakhstan, Kiribati, Kosovo, Kuwait, Lebanon, Lesotho, Liberia, Libya, Liechtenstein, Macau, Maldives, Mali, Malta, Mauritania, Mauritius, Namibia, Nauru, Nicaragua, Niger, Niue, North Korea, North Macedonia, Oman, Pakistan, Palestine, Portugal, Republic of Burundi, Republic of Congo, Republic of the Marshall Islands, Republic of Vanuatu, Saint Christopher and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Samoa, San Marino, Sao Tome and Principe, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Seychelles, Solomon, Somalia, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Suriname, Syria, Tajikistan, Togo, Tonga, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Tuvalu, Ukraine, Uruguay, Uzbekistan, Vatican, Venezuela, Viet Nam, Yemen, Zimbabwe

Blue countries:
Afghanistan, Algeria, Argentine, Armenia, Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Belgium, Benin, Bolivia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brazil, Bulgaria, Cambodia, Cameroon, Canada, Chile, China, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cote d’lvoire, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Djibouti, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Estonia, Ethiopia, Finland, France, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Guatemala, Hong Kong, Hungary, Iceland, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Jamaica, Jordan, Kenya, Kyrgyz, Laos, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Madagascar, Malawi, Malaysia, Mexico, Moldova, Monaco, Mongolia, Montenegro, Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar, Nepal, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nigeria, Norway, Palau, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Qatar, Republic of Korea, Romania, Russia, Rwanda, Serbia, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Africa, South Sudan, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, Tanzania, Thailand, Timor-Leste, Uganda, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United States of America, Western Sahara, Zambia



For updates to the lists of countries and territories and changes to the rules check the website of the ministry of foreign affairs https://www.mofa.go.jp/ca/fna/page4e_001053.html and ask in the thread for clarifications and experiences of entering Japan.
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Old Jul 20, 22, 6:31 pm
  #9391  
 
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Originally Posted by hailstorm View Post
And yet 53 deaths reported yesterday alone, which is really out of whack compared with such a small level of "serious cases" in the past.

There must be a lot of people dying without ever reaching the "serious" state, possibly because they are dying at home without being able to get care.

And indeed, delayed ambulance response and delayed hospitalization is at an all time high.

If we're really going to just "let it rip" then the government needs to hurry up and declassify COVID as a special condition by law. Because even though governors and the prime minister can ignore the law with impunity, the average Tanaka working in the hospitals and ward offices cannot.
Are deaths with covid, but not from covid, reported as covid deaths in Japan? That could explain the discrepancy (a cancer patient who is also covid positive at the moment of death would not have been counted as a severe covid case, for example).
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Old Jul 20, 22, 6:38 pm
  #9392  
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Originally Posted by valdor View Post
Are deaths with covid, but not from covid, reported as covid deaths in Japan? That could explain the discrepancy (a cancer patient who is also covid positive at the moment of death would not have been counted as a severe covid case, for example).
I don't know the official definition, but I doubt it has changed over the course of COVID reporting, so still wouldn't explain the discrepancy compared with previous reporting. Unless you've heard that all deaths in Japan are subject to posthumous COVID testing.
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Old Jul 20, 22, 11:37 pm
  #9393  
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Originally Posted by valdor View Post
Are deaths with covid, but not from covid, reported as covid deaths in Japan? That could explain the discrepancy (a cancer patient who is also covid positive at the moment of death would not have been counted as a severe covid case, for example).
Agree. This is clearly documented in the news two years ago as happening in America (maybe due to government incentives paid to medical institutions), but not sure Japan works the same way. The definition isn’t clear. Shocking.
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Old Jul 21, 22, 12:19 am
  #9394  
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Osaka's reign at the top will be but a single day, as Tokyo is set to announce over 30,000 new cases today.

This represents only about 0.2% of the population, so still plenty of room to grow.
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Old Jul 21, 22, 12:26 am
  #9395  
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A tiny crack in "no COVID restrictions" policies, as the Union of Kansai Governments made a statement today requesting, among other things, that people "avoid high risk behavior" during the summer holidays.
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Old Jul 21, 22, 12:36 am
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Originally Posted by hailstorm View Post
I don't know the official definition, but I doubt it has changed over the course of COVID reporting, so still wouldn't explain the discrepancy compared with previous reporting. Unless you've heard that all deaths in Japan are subject to posthumous COVID testing.
I would imagine that any person who is hospitalized will be tested, no matter if they present covid symptoms or not. That is what is done in many countries and often if the patient then tests positive and goes on to die that is recorded as a covid fatality even if the primary cause wasn't covid.

I'm not arguing that covid isn't an issue, what I'm saying is that the risk of hospitalization and death in a highly vaccinated society is very small and shouldn't drive how said society lives and how people interact with each other.
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Old Jul 21, 22, 12:48 am
  #9397  
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Originally Posted by valdor View Post
I would imagine that any person who is hospitalized will be tested, no matter if they present covid symptoms or not. That is what is done in many countries and often if the patient then tests positive and goes on to die that is recorded as a covid fatality even if the primary cause wasn't covid.

I'm not arguing that covid isn't an issue, what I'm saying is that the risk of hospitalization and death in a highly vaccinated society is very small and shouldn't drive how said society lives and how people interact with each other.
I think we might have the same between the 19 and the 57 severe cases discussed above, as the 57 also goes by patients where ICU care is being charged, so a traffic accident with covid would also have the ICU charge applied and then be counted as a severe covid case.
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Old Jul 21, 22, 12:54 am
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Originally Posted by valdor View Post
I would imagine that any person who is hospitalized will be tested, no matter if they present covid symptoms or not. That is what is done in many countries
Maybe you should imagine again. Until very recently (like, the past few months), Japan was insanely stringent with giving a test to a non-symptomatic case, even if a close contact. For 85% of this pandemic, getting a test in Japan was a bit of an ordeal (for most of the time tests could only be done at a clinic or hospital under the directive of a doctor).

I know many, many people (wife included) who felt sick with symptoms at one point in the past 2.5 years, but were denied tests because they didn't have the symptoms long enough and were told "go home, and if you still have a fever 2 days from now, come back... unless its a Saturday or Sunday, and then come back on Monday instead")

This is why Japan regularly, throughout the whole pandemic (and even now) has positive test rates of 50% or more (sometimes even 75 or 80%). In any other country, having a positive test rate of 15% was considered off the charts. In Japan, thats a good day.
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Old Jul 21, 22, 12:56 am
  #9399  
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Originally Posted by valdor View Post
I would imagine that any person who is hospitalized will be tested, no matter if they present covid symptoms or not. That is what is done in many countries and often if the patient then tests positive and goes on to die that is recorded as a covid fatality even if the primary cause wasn't covid.
Perhaps when they first enter the hospital, but I don't think that regular COVID tests for patients hospitalized for non-COVID reasons are a matter of course here.

Autopsies are a rather labor intensive process, so I think it's a bit much to expect immediate, definitive data on deaths where COVID is the certified primary cause of death, and I don't see much harm in erring on the side of caution in the interim.
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Old Jul 21, 22, 1:04 am
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Originally Posted by hailstorm View Post
Autopsies are a rather labor intensive process, .
Autopsies in Japan are notoriously rare.
https://www.japantimes.co.jp/opinion...-autopsy-rate/
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Old Jul 21, 22, 1:05 am
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Originally Posted by alan11 View Post
Maybe you should imagine again. Until very recently (like, the past few months), Japan was insanely stringent with giving a test to a non-symptomatic case, even if a close contact. For 85% of this pandemic, getting a test in Japan was a bit of an ordeal (for most of the time tests could only be done at a clinic or hospital under the directive of a doctor).

I know many, many people (wife included) who felt sick with symptoms at one point in the past 2.5 years, but were denied tests because they didn't have the symptoms long enough and were told "go home, and if you still have a fever 2 days from now, come back... unless its a Saturday or Sunday, and then come back on Monday instead")

This is why Japan regularly, throughout the whole pandemic (and even now) has positive test rates of 50% or more (sometimes even 75 or 80%). In any other country, having a positive test rate of 15% was considered off the charts. In Japan, thats a good day.
I think they would actually test people being hospitalised. Just to know what precautions to take. You really don't want to start building clusters in the hospitals, and you have too many at risk people in hospitals to begin with.
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Old Jul 21, 22, 1:21 am
  #9402  
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At today's weekly Tokyo COVID Monitoring Meeting, the hospitalization situation was upgraded to the highest level "is tight", matching the highest level given to the infection situation.

In previous times, this would prompt action, but now Gov. Koike is simply telling everyone to continue with the fundamentals of COVID prevention.
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Old Jul 21, 22, 1:27 am
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Originally Posted by CPH-Flyer View Post
I think they would actually test people being hospitalised. Just to know what precautions to take. You really don't want to start building clusters in the hospitals, and you have too many at risk people in hospitals to begin with.
Clusters in hospitals happen all the time. At best they only test symptomatic patients, and if so, it only started very recently.
(do not use logic. This is Japan, anyone here will tell you that)

My local hospital had a cluster problem last year and couldn't take any new patients for nearly a week because the docs were all sick.
A quick google search reveals:

From 2020
Director explains hospital caught off-guard by cluster infection

From 2021:
10-case COVID cluster hits Japanese hospital, 6 double-vaccinated

Also 2021:
Okinawa hospital Covid-19 cluster results in 64 deaths in last few weeks

Today:
Medical care close to buckling in some areas in face of 7th wave
(in it they mention that its not simply a bed occupancy issue, but staff infections are making hospitals very strained)
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Old Jul 21, 22, 1:38 am
  #9404  
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Originally Posted by alan11 View Post
Today:
Medical care close to buckling in some areas in face of 7th wave
(in it they mention that its not simply a bed occupancy issue, but staff infections are making hospitals very strained)
The sharp increase in COVID-19 patients has forced the hospital to temporarily close some sections and turn those beds over to infected patients.

The 10 beds originally set up exclusively for COVID-19 cases are now filled by patients aged between 75 and 95. The hospital is moving to set up an additional 22 beds for COVID-19 patients.

“But if we continue to shut down other sections to deal with COVID-19, we will be unable to fulfill our responsibility as a core hospital for this community,” Nakamori said.
This is what the "nobody is getting seriously ill/dying from COVID" people don't get. It's not about COVID killing people anymore, it's about COVID taking away people's ability to get any basic care, starting with elective care, but gradually increasing to more serious issues that hospitals simply no longer have the capacity to address.

This is because of Japan laws that have not kept up with government attitudes on how to deal with the disease. The previous emergencies/pseudo emergencies were supposed to buy us time to get to a point where we could live with COVID spikes without shutting down society, but they forgot to give the hospitals and aid workers the tools to let them do that.
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Old Jul 21, 22, 2:22 am
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Originally Posted by hailstorm View Post
This is what the "nobody is getting seriously ill/dying from COVID" people don't get. It's not about COVID killing people anymore, it's about COVID taking away people's ability to get any basic care, starting with elective care, but gradually increasing to more serious issues that hospitals simply no longer have the capacity to address.

This is because of Japan laws that have not kept up with government attitudes on how to deal with the disease. The previous emergencies/pseudo emergencies were supposed to buy us time to get to a point where we could live with COVID spikes without shutting down society, but they forgot to give the hospitals and aid workers the tools to let them do that.
This is what has me worried and a bit stressed right now. I’m scheduled for surgery next week and there is a real possibility that it will be postponed. I just got a call checking that I have no symptoms of Covid and to let them know immediately if the situation changes. However, there was no mention of having a test before admission. The nurse just said that if there is a cluster, surgery is off. It’s been a long road to get this far, I just hope it doesn’t dead end in the next few days.
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