Has Japan defeated coronavirus without lockdown?
New Delhi : Japan's state of emergency is set to end with only a dozen of coronavirus cases left in the country. The nation achieved the feat without applying the basic rules of implementing lockdown.
No restrictions were placed on residents’ movements, and businesses from restaurants to hairdressers stayed open. No high-tech apps that tracked people’s movements were deployed. The country doesn’t have a center for disease control. And even as nations were exhorted to “test, test, test,” Japan has tested just 0.2% of its population -- one of the lowest rates among developed countries.
Despite all of the allowance, the total number of deaths due to coronavirus in the nation is well below 1000. In Tokyo, one of the densely populated areas in the nation, the number of cases has dropped to single digits.
With almost no restrictions, Japan is set to exit the state of emergency on Monday.
Though it looks like Japan has defeated coronavirus with an ease, even the experts are unable to find the reason how did the country manage to do so.
“Just by looking at death numbers, you can say Japan was successful,” said Mikihito Tanaka, a professor at Waseda University specializing in science communication, and a member of a public advisory group of experts on the virus. “But even experts don’t know the reason.”
One widely shared list assembled 43 possible reasons cited in media reports, ranging from a culture of mask-wearing and a famously low obesity rate to the relatively early decision to close schools.
While countries such as the U.S. and the U.K. are just beginning to hire and train contact tracers as they attempt to reopen their economies, Japan has been tracking the movement of the disease since the first handful of cases were found. These local experts focused on tackling so-called clusters, or groups of infections from a single location such as clubs or hospitals, to contain cases before they got out of control.
Despite control over the coronavirus cases, Japan's economy is no different and has been officially declared into recession three weeks ago.