Concerns are growing in Japan that the number of coronavirus cases could be higher than reported, with experts questioning the country’s approach to testing as infection rates continue to climb.
Japan has come under immense international scrutiny for its handling of the outbreak — specifically over its quarantine of the stricken Diamond Princess cruise ship in Yokohama Bay.
In neighboring South Korea, infections have surged dramatically, with more than 6,000 confirmed cases after the government tested tens of thousands of people as part of a mass screening drive. But although the Japanese government says it has the capacity to carry out 3,800 tests a day, only 8,111 tests had been conducted as of March 4, according to the country’s Health Ministry.
On Wednesday, Japan recorded 33 new cases of Covid-19, the illness caused by the novel coronavirus, its highest one-day increase since the outbreak began, according to numbers released by the Health Ministry. The overall total now stands at 1,023, of which 706 are from the Diamond Princess cruise ship.
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