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COVID-19 in Japan and Japanese waters

Pushka

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Canada also taking its citizens home from the Diamond Princess by charter plane. Again, they will also face a 14-day quarantine period at a military base.

An official announcement is coming about the 19th. I don't like this guy's chances:

“Our greatest desire at this point is to maintain the quarantine that the Japanese health officials have established,” Smith said, “then get a test for the virus at the end of that quarantine so we can establish with relative certainty that we are not infected and be free to go."
Apparently they aren’t testing people for release until the 19th and can’t process everyone on the same day. And tests are taking more than 24 hours to clear. This was according to the President of Princess Cruises.
 

trevella

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One more in Aichi.

Five more in Tokyo. Two of those are taxi drivers from the same party as previously, one is a medical worker who had contacted with one of the previously confirmed infections from that party.
 
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RooFlyer

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Trevella, the Japanese reaction / methods seems at odds with the 'stereotypical' expectation of Japan (by me) - seems a bit disorganised , 'inefficient'. Is that your impression? If so, any ideas why (other than a wrong stereotype by me! :confused: )

Do you think there is some 'Olympic Games' factor influencing things? I'd expect it not to be a big factor, as the virus should 'peter out' in the northern summer.

Separately, and not wishing to distract you, do you have any info on how the Koreans are handling things?
 

trevella

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The Aichi cluster is a husband and wife who got back from Hawaii on February 7 or thereabouts, and a friend of the wife.

The couple left Maui on Feb 3 for Oahu. He reportedly started feeling not all that great there. I've yet to hear what measures have been taken regarding people that were on the flight with them. The airport was NGO.

***

The Tokyo taxi/boat cluster is getting a little difficult to entangle. The doctor who was diagnosed today works with a nurse who was at the party on the boat, and she apparently tested positive previously.

That doctor and nurse have then had a few meals with other people, leading to a lot of new tests.

Tokyo count is up to 19. A few of them are basically "cause unknown" as of now, as is the Kanagawa employee who helped transport a couple of people off the Diamond Princess.

For those less familiar with the area, there's basically little point distinguishing between Tokyo, Kanagawa, Saitama, and Chiba, as it's all commuting range.

***

Positive news today was from the Wakayama hospital cluster, with 44 negatives coming back. Waiting on test results for nine nurses, and there are also around 60 further tests planned.
 

trevella

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Trevella, the Japanese reaction / methods seems at odds with the 'stereotypical' expectation of Japan (by me) - seems a bit disorganised , 'inefficient'. Is that your impression? If so, any ideas why (other than a wrong stereotype by me! :confused: )

Do you think there is some 'Olympic Games' factor influencing things? I'd expect it not to be a big factor, as the virus should 'peter out' in the northern summer.

Separately, and not wishing to distract you, do you have any info on how the Koreans are handling things?
Before I answer, since it's late on a Sunday night and I'm a bit tired, let me give a couple of qualifiers.

(1) I'm not good at social media. This is not my world at all.
(2) One reason I've refrained from offering opinions on a number of things is that those opinions would be at least partially based on information that I can't provide here, which then puts me at a disadvantage if I'm asked to explain myself, and so on.

With regard to your first question, stereotypes generally exist for good reason, but I would highly recommend distinguishing between Japan's private and public sectors when it comes to organisation and efficiency. And a similar distinction might also need to be made between Japanese medical research and the Japanese medical care system.

There is most definitely a huge Olympics factor at play. I would go so far as to say that that's probably the top priority of the Abe administration at this juncture.

With regard to Korea, I'm afraid I'm limited in terms of what I can say. CJU seems to be slightly more of a concern than Seoul, but neither are especially concerning. North Korea, meanwhile, is a huge huge concern.

*****

I started this thread because I see little doubt that Japan will become the biggest focus outside China, and I thought a basic record/chronology of that would be useful. The stuff some of my colleagues put together after 3/11 was incredibly helpful. I'm basically just mimicking that approach, and copying a moderately censored version here and a slightly less censored version to the place mentioned by Zen above.

My own personal (not based on any proprietary, confidential, or whistle-blower information) take is that containment has already failed in Japan, and quite possibly elsewhere. I believe the crucial fork in the road will be when policymakers have to decide between:

(A) Imposing restrictions on travel to and from Japan; or
(B) Switching into acceptance mode and encouraging the world to get used to the new normal.

My money is on the latter, but I don't expect air travel to get switched back on as quickly as it was switched off. The WHO containment announcement played a big part in the post-SARS rebound, and the odds of that happening any time soon? Not good.
 

trevella

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38 of the 70 Diamond Princess positives announced today were asymptomatic.

38 out of 67 for yesterday.
 

moa999

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Some interesting live tweeting from an American aboard the Diamond Princess who is refusing to evacuate with the other Americans


Tend to agree with him.
They've got 3-days left in quarantine on board.

Whereas the US wants to put them on a bus and plane with a bunch of other untested people and then make them serve another 14-day quarantine in the US
 
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Himeno

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For those less familiar with the area, there's basically little point distinguishing between Tokyo, Kanagawa, Saitama, and Chiba, as it's all commuting range.
Good point. There isn't much non urban areas between the major cities in the area.
Additional note for people less familiar with the area:
Kanagawa Prefecture is to the SW of Tokyo, bordering Ota Ward (the location of Haneda Airport). Yokohama and Yokosuka are in Kanagawa Prefecture.
Chiba Prefecture is to the east of Tokyo. Narita is in Chiba Prefecture. Most routes into Tokyo from Narita pass through Chiba City. Tokyo Disney and Makuhari Messe (a large event venue) are in Chiba.
Saitama Prefecture is to the north of Tokyo. There are a number of large event venues including Metlife Dome and Saitama Super Arena, both of which are within 30 minutes train of the Yamanote (Tokyo Loop) Line.
Overall, the Tokyo Metro area has a population of around 38 million in 13,500 sqkm.

Generally, I'm not that worried. Japans response to COVID-19 seems much the same as most other nations. I'm not about to let it impact my travel plans, just as the 2011 earthquake and Fukushima Daiichi meltdown didn't have any impact on my travel planning at the time.

The biggest issue Tokyo might have regarding this, or any other disease, is the potential spread the morning peak train crowding represents.
 

Pushka

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Some interesting live tweeting from an American aboard the Diamond Princess who is refusing to evacuate with the other Americans


Tend to agree with him.
They've got 3-days left in quarantine on board.

Whereas the US wants to put them on a bus and plane with a bunch of other untested people and then make them serve another 14-day quarantine in the US
That relies totally on the assumption that at the end of the period they will be able to get onto a plane (first assumption) then enter the USA and go home (second assumption). I have 99.9% doubt that this will happen
 

Anna

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That relies totally on the assumption that at the end of the period they will be able to get onto a plane (first assumption) then enter the USA and go home (second assumption). I have 99.9% doubt that this will happen
CNN reported that the choice that has been given to US citizens is evacuate on the US govt flight and then do 14 days quarantine in the US in a US govt facility, or stay in Japan for 14 days after getting off the ship in a few days. They aren't being allowed to go home whether they take the flight or not, or even if they test negative. If I was in that situation I would probably choose to go to the US because I wouldn't trust what a foreign govt might order me to do if I was in their country for another 14 days in these circumstances.

ABC24 this morning said the air conditioning onboard Diamond Princess is suspected of helping spread the virus. Various sources report that the crew have not been observing basic quarantine rules amongst themselves including not wearing masks and some not washing hands because astoundingly some crew did not understand that viruses can be spread on hands. It's this sort of info emerging which is behind the various govt evacuations I think. It's not fair to blame the crew though, they are generally third-world underpaid and exploited workers coping in a second or third language and they were never going to be ideal quarantine carers. Quarantine on a ship was a crazy idea to start with IMO, a failed attempt to keep the virus out of Japan and to try to preserve the Olympics with no regard for the people caught onboard.
 

drron

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I agree Anna.Quaranting those onboard was stupid.has lead to a vast increase in cases.There needs to be a far better plan for the future.
 

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My own personal (not based on any proprietary, confidential, or whistle-blower information) take is that containment has already failed in Japan,
Many thanks for your thoughtful comments. I agree that it appears, at least, that Japan may have lost control of things.

Kanagawa Prefecture is to the SW of Tokyo, bordering Ota Ward (the location of Haneda Airport). Yokohama and Yokosuka are in Kanagawa Prefecture.
Chiba Prefecture is to the east of Tokyo. Narita is in Chiba Prefecture. Most routes into Tokyo from Narita pass through Chiba City. Tokyo Disney and Makuhari Messe (a large event venue) are in Chiba.
I read most of the places listed by Trevella above in the context of Osaka, my destination at the end of a RTW arrivong in 5 weeks. Looked to me as though Osaka city was getting surrounded!

I think the P2 N95 masks that I bought might get some use after all.
 

Pushka

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Obviously on CC and the people onboard have been asking the same thing about the air conditioning. A ship Engineer stated that each cabin has air circulated in their individual cabin but that does not circulate throughout the ship. Who knows.
As the woman from the Westerdam has now tested positive twice, and flew on the charter plane from Cambodia to KL then its escalated a little now. Watched the Adelaide couple who were on the charter flight chuck off their masks when they got to Adelaide on Saturday. 24 hours later and the wonder if they are next. They were publicised on the media here on their cruise to nowhere so they can’t exactly sneak out in public for a bit.

The quarantine was never about the passengers on the ship and everything about protecting Japan.
 

trevella

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I read most of the places listed by Trevella above in the context of Osaka, my destination at the end of a RTW arrivong in 5 weeks. Looked to me as though Osaka city was getting surrounded!
There's a roughly equal balance between the greater Tokyo and greater Osaka areas now, although the latter is not quite as contiguous.

One of the hospitals where one of the infected Wakayama doctors worked is less than 7km from KIX.

Speaking of western Japan, this event in Okayama on Saturday night reportedly had 10,000 participants... Hard to imagine something better designed to spread disease (video available at the top):


 

Pushka

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And just read a report on CC that the bus trip of the first person with the virus on Diamond, was shared with passengers from the Westerdam and the woman who has now tested positive.
Good grief that was a made up story.
Anyways, many of the US passengers won’t be going back today as planned.
 
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trevella

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The two US charter flights left Haneda at around 6:30AM and 6:45AM.

The fifth Japanese charter flight from Wuhan arrived at Haneda just before 7AM carrying 65 passengers (36 Japanese + 29 Chinese-nationality family members).

This timing is part of the theatre of other countries needing to fly their people home to ease pressure on the Japanese medical system.
 

banana boy

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Watched the Adelaide couple who were on the charter flight chuck off their masks when they got to Adelaide on Saturday. 24 hours later and the wonder if they are next.
And did they follow proper hygiene when removing and disposing the mask? Cross contamination is so simple with these things. And this one seems to be quiet contagious.

If the Australian government was serious about containment they'd at least be taking nasal swabs for testing from all those passengers returning from Denpasar each day. But Indonesia has no cases and it's just another flu so why bother wasting the money?
 

Pushka

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And did they follow proper hygiene when removing and disposing the mask? Cross contamination is so simple with these things. And this one seems to be quiet contagious.

If the Australian government was serious about containment they'd at least be taking nasal swabs for testing from all those passengers returning from Denpasar each day. But Indonesia has no cases and it's just another flu so why bother wasting the money?
And that may be the new reality as suggested earlier.
 

Worrellson

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And just read a report on CC that the bus trip of the first person with the virus on Diamond, was shared with passengers from the Westerdam and the woman who has now tested positive.
Good grief that was a made up story.
Anyways, many of the US passengers won’t be going back today as planned.
I don't think it's fake news because the New York Times is reporting it: American Woman Who Left Cruise Ship Tests Positive for Coronavirus edit - that is the positive test, not the Diamond connection - I haven't read that on any credible site.
 

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