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Japan expands simplified COVID-19 infection reporting system

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TOKYO, Sept. 26 (Xinhua) — Japan on Monday expanded its simplified system for reporting COVID-19 cases in order to reduce the administrative burden on hospitals and health care facilities.

Rather than medical facilities entering the details of all people infected with the virus into a nationwide computer network, medical facilities will now only be required to report details of high-risk patients.

Such patients include those who may be at a higher risk of becoming seriously ill, including those aged 65 or older, pregnant women, or those with underlying conditions.

Medical facilities will still have to report the number of daily infection cases each day by age group so the government can keep track of the spread of the virus, but the reporting of names and addresses of younger people with milder symptoms will no longer be required.

Some of the nine prefectures that adopted the new system earlier this month, however, have expressed concerns that the new reporting system will make it difficult for younger people who have presented with mild symptoms from being contacted swiftly if their symptoms become more severe.

The simplified system now covers the entire country following prefectural governments putting into place health centers to follow up on younger patients with mild COVID-19 symptoms.

If a positive case of the virus is reported to local health authorities or not, those infected are able to isolate at home or at designated facilities. Provisions of food will be delivered as necessary and the government will ask those testing positive to refrain from going outside and for close contacts to also isolate.

Japan reported 46,788 new daily COVID-19 cases on Sunday, with 5,621 of the cases being in Tokyo.

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