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Japan Mobilizes against Domestic Outbreak of Coronavirus, Recognizes Asymptomatic Patients

Feb. 17, 2020 (EIRNS)—Japan Community Health Care Organization (a government agency) chief director Shigeru Omi reported in his press briefing today, that in virus testing everyone aboard the Princess Diamond cruise ship quarantined at Yokohama, regardless of their medical condition, it was found that 70% of those testing positive “are not showing any symptoms at all.”

Japanese officials are mobilizing. Health Minister Katsunobu Kato today urged the public to avoid crowds and non-essential gatherings, including packed commuter trains. The usual public celebration of the Emperor’s birthday planned for next Sunday, Feb. 23, has been cancelled, along with next month’s Tokyo marathon. No decision has been made at this time about the upcoming 2020 Summer Olympics scheduled for Tokyo.

Japan is “now in a new phase and must anticipate a spread of infections,” the Health Minister said in his Feb. 16 press conference. “Our priority is to build up the medical system so that people, especially those with pre-existing conditions, will not fall gravely ill and die.”

The first meeting of a task force on the virus was held at the Prime Minister’s office today. Takaji Wakita, chief of the National Institute of Infectious Diseases, reported afterwards, “We agreed that the present situation represents the early stage of a domestic outbreak. This could progress further.”

Japan has confirmed 65 cases (not including those onboard the Princess Diamond), with a growing number of them involving people who have not visited China recently or who had knowingly had direct contact with people arriving from the country, according to a report in Britain’s Guardian.

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