Japan Would See 850,000 Severe COVID-19 Cases without Precautions

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Tokyo, April 15 (Jiji Press)--Some 850,000 people in Japan would become severely ill with COVID-19 and half of them would die if no social-distancing or other measures were taken, according to an expert estimate published Wednesday.

The estimate was made by Hiroshi Nishiura, an epidemiologist at Hokkaido University who is on the health ministry's coronavirus infection cluster response team.

"The estimate is for a situation in which no precautionary measures are taken against the novel virus," Nishiura said. "If we drastically limit interactions, we can stop the spread of this virus."

He said that the virus can be contained in about a month by reducing physical contact between people by 80 pct.

The estimate assumes that coronavirus infections will continue increasing rapidly until many of the country's population become infected to build up so-called herd immunity.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press