Date Published: May 22, 2020
The state of emergency in Japan is set to end in just weeks as new cases occur in mere dozens. The curve has flattened, without restricting movement and increasing testing.
One reason for their success in flattening may be contract tracing. In 2018, Japan’s public health centres employed 50,000 public nurses, who are experienced in infection tracing and as such were able to track the movement of the disease when the first handful of cases were found. The local experts focused on identifying clusters to prevent further infections. Another reason for their success could be attributed to clearly understood messaging: avoiding the “three C’s – closed spaces, crowded spaces and close-contact settings.” However, authorities warn life will not return to normal, as the threat of a second wave remains.
Yoshihito Niki, a professor of infectious diseases at Showa University’s School of Medicine says “We have to assume that the second wave could be much worse than the first wave and prepare for it. If the next explosion of cases is worse, the medical system will break down.”
Summary by: Jayoti Rana