The Saturday editions of all national dailies highlighted a Health Ministry plan to conduct antibody tests on 10,000 people in Tokyo, Osaka, and Miyagi prefectures in June to grasp the extent of the spread of the coronavirus. The dailies noted that experts have voiced doubts about the accuracy of some antibody test kits because many of the tests conducted in Japan and overseas have produced false positives. Sankei asserted that a positive test result should not be used to certify immunity until the accuracy of antibody testing is improved.
In a related development, the papers also reported on the results of two sets of antibody tests undertaken by the Health Ministry’s research team and a team of University of Tokyo scientists in which only 0.4 to 0.6 % of people tested positive. Public health professionals are reportedly afraid that as the findings apparently show that the spread of the virus in Japan has been limited thus far, the next wave could be much more extensive.