Mainichi wrote that the Health Ministry has put together for the prefectural governments a set of guidelines for boosting hospital capacity in preparation for a possible “twindemic” of the novel coronavirus and seasonal influenza in the winter. The ministry reportedly stressed the importance of increasing PCR and other diagnostic testing for both diseases, particularly at nursing homes and hospitals.
In a related story, Nikkei wrote that only three people tested positive for seasonal flu nationwide in the week ending on Sept. 6, less than one-thousandth of the level from a year ago when an influenza outbreak was reported in Okinawa in late summer. As at least several hundred cases of seasonal flu have customarily been detected every year around this time, the daily conjectured that this year’s unusually low number indicates that the spread of seasonal flu has been hindered by the stringent measures to combat COVID-19. One physician reportedly attributed the entry restrictions on foreigners due to the coronavirus pandemic to the limited spread of seasonal flu.