Japan Mulls Free COVID-19 Tests for People with No Symptoms

Politics

Tokyo, Nov. 9 (Jiji Press)--The Japanese government plans to conduct antigen and polymerase chain reaction tests for the novel coronavirus for people with no COVID-19 symptoms free of charge, sources familiar with the matter said Tuesday.

The measure will be included in an outline of steps, due out Friday, that the government will take to bring the pandemic under control at an early date, the sources said.

Free PCR tests are offered to people with symptoms such fever and close contacts of patients if doctors and public health offices find it necessary to do so. In addition, a limited number of municipalities have conducted such tests.

People faced difficulty taking even paid tests this summer amid the country's fifth wave of infections. Experts have expressed concerns that the number of asymptomatic COVID-19 patients may have increased due to a lack of tests.

Under the government's plans, testing kits will be available at convenience stores, drugstores and elsewhere free of charge should there be a resurgence of the virus, according to the sources.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press