Underperformance of Reverse-Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction in Japan and Potential Implications From Diamond Princess Cruise Ship and Other Countries During the Ongoing COVID-19 Pandemic

Document Type: Letter to Editor

Authors

1 Department of Reproductive, Developmental and Aging Sciences, Graduate School of Medicine, University of Tokyo, Tokyo, Japan

2 Medical Governance Research Institute, Tokyo, Japan

3 Department of Breast Surgery, Jyoban Hospital of Tokiwa Foundation, Fukushima, Japan

4 Department of Surgery, Sendai City Medical Center, Miyagi, Japan

5 Tribhuvan University Institute of Medicine, Kathmandu, Nepal

6 School of Public Health, Fudan University, Shanghai, China

Keywords

Main Subjects


 

Dear Editor,

The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) emerged in Wuhan, Hubei province, China, in November 2019, and spread to multiple countries, leading the World Health Organization (WHO) to declare it a pandemic on March 11, 2020. As of June 20, 2020, 8 766 887 cases and 462 706 deaths had been reported, with a case fatality rate (CFR) of 5.3% worldwide.1 While a crude CFR of COVID-19 in Japan was reportedly similar at 5.3% on June 20, 2020,1 the CFR reported from different regions of the world vary widely, partly due to differences in the healthcare capacity and thoroughness of the crisis response and extent and progress of the epidemic.2 ... (Read more...)

 

  1. Worldometer. COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic. https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/#countries. Updated June 20, 2020. Accessed June 20, 2020.
  2. Onder G, Rezza G, Brusaferro S. Case-fatality rate and characteristics of patients dying in relation to COVID-19 in Italy. JAMA. 2020;323(18):1775-1776. doi:10.1001/jama.2020.4683
  3. Statistics Bureau of Japan. Preliminary counts of population of Japan. https://www.stat.go.jp/english/index.html.  Updated May 1, 2020. Accessed June 17, 2020.
  4. Our world in data. Coronavirus (COVID-19) testing statistics and research (June 13, 2020 update). https://ourworldindata.org/coronavirus-testing.  Updated June 13, 2020. Accessed June 13, 2020.
  5. Sawano T, Ozaki A, Rodriguez-Morales AJ, Tanimoto T, Sah R. Limiting spread of COVID-19 from cruise ships - lessons to be learnt from Japan. QJM. 2020; 113(5):309-310. doi:10.1093/qjmed/hcaa092  
  6. Mizumoto K, Kagaya K, Zarebski A, Chowell G. Estimating the asymptomatic proportion of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) cases on board the Diamond Princess cruise ship, Yokohama, Japan, 2020. Euro Surveill. 2020;25(10):2000180. doi:10.2807/1560-7917.ES.2020.25.10.2000180
  7. National Institute of Infectious Diseases. Field briefing: Diamond Princess COVID-19 cases, 20 Feb Update. https://www.niid.go.jp/niid/en/2019-ncov-e/9417-covid-dp-fe-02.html.  Updated February 21, 2020. Accessed June 20, 2020.
  8. Situation update for COVID-19 and the MHLW's response (May 1, 2020 updated). https://www.mhlw.go.jp/stf/newpage_11146.html.  Updated May 1, 2020. Accessed May 3, 2020.
  9. Oran DP, Topol EJ. Prevalence of asymptomatic SARS-CoV-2 infection: A narrative review. Ann Intern Med. 2020;M20-3012. doi:10.7326/M20-3012.
  10. Wu C, Chen X, Cai Y, et al. Risk factors associated with acute respiratory distress syndrome and death in patients with coronavirus disease 2019 pneumonia in Wuhan, China. JAMA Intern Med. 2020;E1-E10. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2020.0994
  11. Anderson RM, Heesterbeek H, Klinkenberg D, Hollingsworth TD. How will country-based mitigation measures influence the course of the COVID-19 epidemic? Lancet. 2020;395(10228):931-934. doi:10.1016/S0140-6736(20)30567-5
  12. World Health Organization. Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) situation report-105. https://www.who.int/docs/default-source/coronaviruse/situation-reports/20200504-covid-19-sitrep-105.pdf?sfvrsn=4cdda8af_2.  Updated May 4, 2020. Accessed June 20, 2020.
  13. Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development. Testing for COVID-19: A way to lift confinement restrictions. http://www.oecd.org/coronavirus/policy-responses/testing-for-covid-19-a-way-to-lift-confinement-restrictions-89756248/.  Updated May 4, 2020. Accessed June 14, 2020.
  14. Our world in data. Excess mortality from the Coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19). https://ourworldindata.org/excess-mortality-covid.  Updated June 19, 2020. Accessed June 20, 2020.
  15. Sakamoto H, Ishikane M, Ueda P. Seasonal influenza activity during the SARS-CoV-2 outbreak in Japan. JAMA. 2020;323(19):1969-1971. doi:10.1001/jama.2020.6173
  16. National Institute of Infectious Diseases. Report of influenza and pneumonia deaths in 21 major metropolitan areas for the 2019/20 season by the rapid identification system for influenza-related deaths. https://www.niid.go.jp/niid/ja/flu-m/2112-idsc/jinsoku/1852-flu-jinsoku-7.html.  Updated May 24, 2020. Accessed June 20, 2020.
  17. Statistics of Tokyo. STATISTICAL DATA. https://www.toukei.metro.tokyo.lg.jp/homepage/ENGLISH.htm.  Updated December 25, 2020. Accessed June 17, 2020.