Corona without the hard constraints contained: Can Japan be a role model?

What had to listen to Japan initially everything for criticism. The country leave much less to the Coronavirus test as other States. From the point of view of critics, the government did not want to play in this way, the extent of the crisis to threaten the Olympic games in the summer. How else could it acceptable that a country such as Japan density with a high population and such a high proportion of old people to the official count, much less cases of infection and Dead having than other States? Now Japan is reported to have the crisis largely brought under control. Without hard output constraints such as in Europe. Japan is no good as a model?

The German virologist Christian Drosten, however, is the view that Germany could be based on the way the Japanese, in order to prevent a second Corona-shaft. “Japan has for all that the seen in the incidence statistics, for a long time, a slow downward creep curve,” he said in the NDR Podcast.

Japan: 900 Dead at 17,500 reported infections

Stand Monday were recorded in Japan around 17,500 infections. Around 900 people have died in the official statistics, according to which, in connection with Covid-19. These comparatively low Numbers seemed impossible at the beginning of April, as the cases of infection in Tokyo and other cities began to rise significantly – while in neighboring South Korea, with its much acclaimed mass tests, the curve flattened out.


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Only after long Hesitation, imposed Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on 7. April for Tokyo and other areas of the state of emergency and extending it later to the whole country. The citizens were called to stay at home, to keep a distance and gatherings of people to avoid. For a Lockdown, as in Europe, Abe has had no legal hand. Nevertheless, he was able to lift only one and a half months later, the state of emergency. How was that possible?

The Cluster strategy is an export model?

Japan relies on a Cluster-strategy: as soon As an infected Person is discovered, the analysis of contacts of the person Concerned. Each of the infectious-Cluster is traced back to its origin point, all the people in it to be considered infected and isolated immediately. It will not wait until the Test confirms an infection actually.

Most of the clusters in the country and settled in places with crowds of people – health fitness studios, night clubs and karaoke rooms, for example. Drosten speaks of super-spreading Events, for the avoidance of Japan as a role model could be. With a view to the Opening of schools and kindergartens to be impression you need to practice: “What we really have is the early detection of clusters and the immediate isolation of the Cluster members.”

For his approach, Japan did not need mass testing, as in other countries, what Japan was also cost-effective. “It is impossible to stop the Occurrence of clusters only by the Test of many people,” said the virologist Hitoshi Oshitani of Tohoku University in the journal “Science”.

Japanese culture could facilitate containment

Another factor in the success of Japan lies in the society of the country, its traditions, and the culture of an organisation. The vast majority of the population followed voluntarily to the call of the authorities to avoid places with large crowds of people, and to stay as at home. In addition, Japanese set has always been extremely high value on Hygiene.

To are not wearing mouth protection, for example, in the case of a cold, other infection has long been common. Just like bowing instead of shaking hands, or taking Off shoes before you go into the house. Loud Talk in Railways in Japan’s Mega-cities are chronically overcrowded, is considered rude. Because when you Speak, droplets with virus particles get into the environment, it can also be a factor.

However, not everything is a model in Japan. So experts complain of a lack of skilled workers, who can track the history of infectious diseases. Also, it is missing in the third largest economy in the world sufficient Doctors who are trained in dealing with such diseases. In addition, according to critics, that the state had failed to adequately provide protective equipment for medical staff in hospitals to provide.

In Japan, too, is afraid of the second wave

Although the infection back pay, however, the focus on the Cluster was not able to prevent outbreaks in hospitals. The health system had at times been near collapse, according to critics. And: Japan procedure is not at least so far as successful, but it was without risk. “That went well, might have been able to go wrong. The data situation it was not really”, says Drosten.

And also in Japan, there is concern that it could lead to a second great wave of Infection. Despite the lifting of the state of emergency, the Corona-crisis not over”,” explains the Japanese virologist, Oshitani. He expected, from time to time with outbreaks, think, “is that we can manage these small outbreaks”.

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