Local Govts Divided over Release of Info on Infected Patients

Society Lifestyle Politics

Tokyo, Feb. 10 (Jiji Press)--Local governments in Japan are divided over how they should handle information on the footsteps of people infected with the new coronavirus, such as where they visited and with whom they came into contact after their infection.

The disclosure of such information helps citizens secure their safety and ease their anxieties over the viral epidemic, but also could raise the issue of patients' privacy and trigger baseless rumors.

On Jan. 28, it came to light that a bus driver in Nara Prefecture, western Japan, tested positive for the new virus after carrying tourists from Wuhan, the Chinese city where the outbreak originated.

As it was the first known case of the virus' human-to-human transmission in Japan, public concerns grew over the footsteps of the driver of the bus, which had visited many spots in eastern and western Japan.

While the health ministry refrained from disclosing where the bus traveled in detail, the Nara prefectural government told the government of Kanagawa Prefecture in eastern Japan that the driver had stayed overnight in Kanagawa.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press