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Actual number of coronavirus cases still unknown, could be 10 or 20 times released figures

  • May 11, 2020
  • , Asahi digital , 2:30 p.m.
  • JMH Translation

At the Upper House Budget Committee meeting on May 11, Shigeru Omi, vice-chairman of the government expert panel on the new coronavirus, said, “We do not have a precise count of all coronavirus cases.” Asked for the number of actual cases, he replied, “No one knows at this stage. It may actually be 10, 15, or 20 times” the reported number of confirmed cases.


Over 15,000 confirmed cases of coronavirus have been reported in Japan at this point.


Omi was speaking in response to a question from Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan Secretary-General Tetsuro Fukuyama. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe also added, “I suspect the number of people currently infected with coronavirus exceeds the number of cases confirmed by PCR testing, but I cannot say for sure how many cases there are.”


Fukuyama said, “Overseas, countries are identifying infected persons by testing even those with mild or no symptoms. They are basing their discussions on an understanding of the actual situation.” Abe responded: “Other countries are not actively conducting PCR tests on asymptomatic individuals.”


At one point during the deliberations, Fukuyama became furious, noting that Abe had given Omi advice. “What are you doing allowing the prime minister to tell you how to respond?!” fumed Fukuyama.

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