Japan's Daily PCR Test Capacity Tops 20,000

Society Lifestyle

Tokyo, May 15 (Jiji Press)--Japan now has a daily capacity of conducting 22,000 polymerase chain reaction tests for the novel coronavirus, the health ministry said Friday.

The number exceeded the target of 20,000 tests announced by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in response to complaints that many people suspecting infections could not take PCR tests.

According to the health ministry, the National Institute of Infectious Diseases, quarantine stations, private companies and universities have equipment for PCR tests. The combined PCR testing capacity at these places was 19,420 as of Wednesday and rose above 22,000 on Friday.

Critics said low testing rates make it difficult to assess the actual infection situation and tend to cause a delay in the hospitalization of those infected with the virus.

"It is important to ensure PCR tests are available to those who are judged by doctors to be in need of tests," a ministry official said.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press