Speedy NEWS

Factfulness: Tracking the COVID-19 situation in Japan by the numbers!

Sorry for the nonchalant photo.

I have written about this previously, but why can’t the Japanese media base their reporting on the facts?
Their sensational reporting is no better than provocations made by motorists on the road.

The only thing being reported every day is that the number of COVID-19 cases is rising. What is the percentage of positive cases among those being tested? What is the trend of the number of patients in a serious condition? What is the breakdown of those patients by age? Has the number of deaths also risen dramatically?

I’ll answer these questions below.

The number of patients in a serious condition has been declining since peaking in late May.
The number of deaths has also dropped since the launch of vaccination.

As far as the number of deaths by age group is concerned (based on the information on April 19th before seniors have started their vaccination), patients in their 70s and 80s accounted for 71% of all deaths. I’m not saying that it’s okay for seniors to die, but young people rarely die of COVID-19. The situation at this point is no different from the flu.
Once our seniors have been fully vaccinated at the end of July, this figure is expected to drop dramatically.
Incidentally, the number of COVID-19 deaths in the population of Japan is only 1/18, or 2.5% if we make a simple comparison, of that in the U.S.! (15,020 deaths in Japan vs. 608,115 deaths in the U.S.)

The Japanese people are somehow doing pretty well against COVID-19!

A situation like this would have prompted the lifting of mask requirements and social distancing in the UK.
Pubs, restaurants, and karaoke lounges should be open for business without any restrictions.

I have little interest in the Olympics, but if we were to hold it, people who have been vaccinated for at least two weeks should be allowed to enter the venues.
The government needs to lay down a standard for when people can stop wearing masks.
At the same time, all of us should quickly get vaccinated whenever possible!

I hope the day when we regard COVID-19 as a less serious threat than the flu will come soon. Although I think we are almost there based on the actual situation, the problem may very well have to do with political judgment and public attitudes.

◆References
Number of COVID-19 cases in Japan (Summary by NHK)
https://www3.nhk.or.jp/news/special/coronavirus/data-all/

Breakdown of COVID-19 cases and deaths by age
https://www3.nhk.or.jp/news/special/coronavirus/data-rate/

Atsushi Fukuda’s blog, “Factfulness: Evading the vaccination frenzy” (July 4th)
http://spdy.jp/news/s11257/

Atsushi Fukuda’s blog, “Post-COVID democracy in the UK: Moving from government mandates to individual responsibility” (July 15th)
http://spdy.jp/news/s11379/