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HOME  > Past issues  > 2020 March 25 - 31  > Koike in TV debate calls for fully utilizing COVID-19 testing capacity
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2020 March 25 - 31 TOP3 [POLITICS]

Koike in TV debate calls for fully utilizing COVID-19 testing capacity

March 30, 2020

Japanese Communist Party Secretariat Head Koike Akira on March 29 on a televised debate program said that currently in Japan, the daily testing capacity for the COVID-19 coronavirus infection is 8,000, but only 1,300 people per day are tested. He demanded that the government take measures that enable all those who are deemed to need a PCR test to receive the test and introduce the new coronavirus antibody tests without further delay.

Koike stressed, “Anyone should be able to undergo a PCR test when their doctors judge it necessary.”

PCR tests are designed to detect a virus in nasal or throat mucus. On the other hand, antibody tests use blood samples to check to see whether a person has developed immunity to a certain type of a virus after contracting it.

Explaining the merits of antibody tests, Koike said that with a small amount of blood sample, the results will come out in about 12 minutes. He noted that the U.K. government recently decided to buy 3.5 million units of COVID-19 antibody testing kits. Koike said, “This kind of test can identify people who have developed immunity to the coronavirus and therefore will not contract or spread the virus. A large-scale implementation of the antibody tests will determine how widely the infection has spread. The government should work for an early introduction of the tests.”

Koike made the same proposal at a House of Councilors Health Committee meeting on March 18.

Past related article:
> JCP Koike demands countermeasures against new coronavirus [January 28, 2020]
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