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Ratio of positive results from COVID-19 tests increasing nationwide

  • April 18, 2020
  • , NHK
  • JMH Summary

NHK reported on Saturday evening on the finding that the ratio of people who tested positive for the new coronavirus in PCR tests is increasing nationwide. According to the report, while the nationwide positive ratio was 6.2% on average between January 15 and March 14, it doubled to 12.9% during the period from April 3 to 16. In Tokyo, the average ratio was 10% until March 14, but it rose to 56.1%, the highest in the country, during the period from April 3 to 16. In Saitama, the average ratio was 6.5% until March 14, but it climbed to 17.8% between April 3 and 16. As for local governments that have not disclosed some of their previous data, the average ratio between April 3 and 16 was 25.7% in Osaka, 19% in Kanagawa, and 15.6% in Chiba. The network explained that according to the MHLW, the positive ratio should be viewed as a reference because the disclosed number of PCR tests conducted may not include those done at private institutions. Tohoku Medical and Pharmaceutical University Professor Mitsuo Kaku reportedly said: “An increase in the positive test rate is thought to indicate that the number of hidden cases of infection has risen. The increase in the positive test rate is also attributed to the fact that more people are now being tested as the virus has become more widespread. If the positive test rate rises, more people will be diagnosed with COVID-19. This means a growing burden on the healthcare system. I understand that there are now cases where people cannot be tested even through a doctor has said testing is needed. To help those in serious condition, Japan needs to enhance its testing framework so that high-risk individuals, including the elderly and people who have a preexisting condition, can be given priority in testing.”

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