Japan to Allow Dentists to Collect Samples for Virus Tests

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Tokyo, April 27 (Jiji Press)--Japan's health ministry has decided to allow dentists to collect samples from people suspected of being infected with the new coronavirus in an effort to strengthen the country's system to conduct polymerase chain reaction, or PCR, tests for detecting infection, according to informed sources.

The plan was approved at an expert panel meeting held on Sunday.

The ministry will notify local governments of the measure after fleshing out operational details, the sources said.

Currently, samples for PCR tests are collected from patients' nostrils and throats by doctors and other medical staff at outpatient facilities for returnees from abroad and those who had close contact with virus carriers, and also at special testing facilities set up by regional medical associations.

The number of tests conducted in Japan per day has been increasing, now reaching up to nearly 9,000.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press