COVID-19 and Japanese Policy Debate

MHLW Presentation

The stragety of the Japanse health authorities against COVID-19 has been to “lower the peak” of virus infection/spread. Looking at the chart, immediate questions would be how that can happen and how a lower peak would lead to a less number of total patients, if other conditions are equal, as shown in the smaller space under the lower curve. Perhaps the authorities are expecting that lock-down type measures (e.g., school closing) would work to lower the propagation/infection rate of the virus. However, it seems highly optimistic to assume that temporary propagation rate reduction will continue. Or perhaps their ideas is to earn time for development of new treatment. Either way, the presentation captures the level of scientific analysis and hope-driven thinking in Japanese policy debate at a serious health crisis.