lørdag 4. juli 2020

Coronavirus: Japan's mysteriously low virus death rate

Why haven't more people in Japan died from Covid-19? It is a macabre question that has spawned dozens of theories, from Japanese manners to claims that the Japanese have superior immunity. Japan does not have the lowest death rate for Covid-19 - in the region, South Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Vietnam can all boast lower morbidity.

But in the early part of 2020, Japan saw fewer deaths than average. This is despite the fact that in April, Tokyo saw about 1,000 "excess deaths' - perhaps due to Covid. Yet, for the year as a whole, it is possible that overall deaths will be down on 2019. This is particularly striking because Japan has many of the conditions that make it vulnerable to Covid-19, but it never adopted the energetic approach to tackling the virus that some of its neighbours did.