Tokyo Starts Free COVID-19 Tests

Politics Lifestyle

Tokyo, Dec. 25 (Jiji Press)--The Tokyo metropolitan government on Saturday started free COVID-19 screening for anyone who wishes to get tested though having no symptoms.

The move followed the discovery of the first community-acquired case of the omicron variant of the novel coronavirus in the Japanese capital Friday.

The metropolitan government aims to prevent infections from spreading through the free test program, designed to help eliminate anxiety among people, including those who need to have direct contact with others frequently and plan to travel during the year-end and New Year holiday period.

The initiative started at 12 testing institutions, targeting Tokyo residents. The free tests will become available at about 180 locations from Monday, including drug stores, so that a total of 30,000 people will get tested a day.

"We want to prevent an increase in the number of close contacts and make effective treatment available as soon as possible by helping people confirm their (infection) status through the free test," Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike told reporters Saturday, during a visit to one of the 12 test sites. "The Tokyo government will go ahead with this policy," she said.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press