Politics 16:32 02/03/2020 Armenia

It is possible to control the speed at which coronavirus spreads: Interview with Japan’s Ambassador to Armenia

Interview with Japan's Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to Armenia Jun Yamada about the novel coronavirus and the Japanese experience of tackling the spread of the virus.

- How Japan is fighting against coronavirus, is there any practice that can be shared with Armenia.

- We have already requested elementary schools, junior high schools and senior high schools as well as schools for special needs education to close temporarily from Monday, March 2, 2020, until spring break. The government will do everything possible to support local government efforts including making the same arrangements at after-school care programs as during spring break. We intend to establish a new grant scheme to squarely address the reduction in income resulting from parents taking leaves of absence from work, for both permanent and non-permanent workers. We will also swiftly compile within roughly the next 10 days a second emergency policy package that utilizes this fiscal year’s contingency funds, which amount to more than 270 billion yen.

We will advance the use of remote work in every aspect of society, making full use of teleworking and other forms of IT, and all at once push forward with changes that go ahead of the times.

- How is the diagnosis made in Japan․ There was an information that a test was developed in Japan to diagnose COVID-19 within 30 minutes.

- It is possible to control the speed at which the outbreak spreads. We will be at a critical moment over the coming one to two weeks regarding whether the outbreak spreads rapidly or is controlled.
We are working to develop new simple test equipment that will make it possible to reduce the time needed to detect the virus, currently two to three hours, to around fifteen minutes. We have been working to develop the reagent and improve its accuracy, and we intend to start using this kit within March. Though nationwide we have the ability to conduct more than 4,000 screenings daily, we must implement all possible measures over the coming two weeks to prevent the outbreak further spreading.While there are more than 2,000 beds designated for infectious diseases nationwide, we intend to ensure a capacity of over 5,000 beds.
Among those who have tested positive in Japan, including cruise ship passengers, more than 140 have already recovered and been discharged from hospitals.

- What kind of advice does the government give to the population, that can also be useful for Armenians?

- Basically, the advice is the same for all countries. Throughout the world, preventing “group infection” is of extreme importance. In order to avoid the risk of large-scale infections, we should call for responses such as cancelling, postponing, or downsizing national-scale sports or cultural events where many people gather.



Source Panorama.am
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