Japan Changes Definition of Close Contact with COVID-19 Patients

Society Lifestyle

Tokyo, April 21 (Jiji Press)--Japan's National Institute of Infectious Diseases has changed the definition of people who had close contact with patients of the COVID-19 disease, caused by the novel coronavirus.

According to the new definition, people who were at a distance of one meter, enough to touch by hand, from an infected person for 15 minutes or more without taking infection prevention measures, such as wearing a face mask, two days before the person started to display symptoms or later are regarded as those with close contact with the patient.

The institute had previously defined people who were at a distance of 2 meters, enough to touch by hand or talk face to face, from a COVID-19 patient on the day he or she began to show symptoms or later as those with close contact. The old definition did not include a duration of contact.

On Monday, the institute released on its website revised guidelines used by public health centers for tracking down people who had close contact with infected people. The new definition, apparently based on the up-to-the-minute data and knowledge from abroad, is included in the revised guidelines.

On Tuesday, the health ministry issued a notification calling on local governments to advance their activities to track and identify people who had close contact with COVID-19 patients using the new definition.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press