Japan Press Weekly
[Advanced search]
Past issues
Special issues
Fact Box
Feature Articles
Mail to editor
Mail magazine
HOME  > Past issues  > 2020 April 22 - May 12  > Shii on BS news program talks about need to expand PCR testing capacity to tackle coronavirus emergency
> List of Past issues
Bookmark and Share
2020 April 22 - May 12 [POLITICS]

Shii on BS news program talks about need to expand PCR testing capacity to tackle coronavirus emergency

May 9, 2020
Japanese Communist Party Chair Shii Kazuo on May 7 said that an essential precondition for ending the state of emergency is to expand the PCR testing capacity for the coronavirus drastically and recognize the true extent of virus infections.

Shii made this remark during his talk about an “exit strategy” from the coronavirus emergency on a BS Nittere news program “Shinsou News” aired on the day.

In the news show, Shii noted that in the fight against COVID-19, efforts to contain the virus will be required to adjust the balance between strict restrictions on people’s activities and economic activities. Shii said that a repeated shift in this balance adjustment may result in multiple peaks in the coronavirus infection wave and thus it will take a long time to truly stop the spread of the virus.

Shii pointed out, “In this regard, what is important is to choose the right timing to make an adjustment. In order to make the right decision, the number of PCR tests for detection of COVID-19 per day should be increased by at least an order of magnitude greater than the current number.”

The program touched on standards for judging when the business suspension request at the local government level should be removed.

Shii pointed out that the number of PCR tests carried out across Japan is insufficient, which translates to a lack of fundamental data which could support a decision to withdraw the business suspension request. Shii said that without an increase in the PCR testing rate, it is difficult to plan an exit strategy based on reliable scientific evidence.

Regarding ways to expand the PCR testing, Shii referred to a remark made by Nobel winner and the director of Center for iPS Cell Yamanaka Shinya in a talk with Prime Minister Abe which was held online the other day.

Yamanaka reported that at his lab alone, 30 PCR machines are available. He said if the government decides to utilize the network of national universities, it will be able to carry out roughly 100,000 PCR tests a day, far more than the current daily target of 20,000.

Shii said that along with setting up more PCR test centers, a drastic improvement of the PCR testing system is possible.

Past related articles:
>JCP Koike talks about prevention of healthcare collapse over coronavirus outbreak and need to increase testing rate [April 11, 2020]
>JCP Koike calls on gov’t to buy COVID-19 antibody testing kits rather than implementing ‘Abenomask’ plan [April 3 & 4, 2020]
> List of Past issues
  Copyright (c) Japan Press Service Co., Ltd. All right reserved