The COVID-19 novel coronavirus has the world in an uproar right now, and Japan is no different. I am absolutely not an expert on anything related to a virus or a pandemic, but I have been trying to keep up. This page lists the pages I have been collecting as useful sources if information.
This page will be updated if/when I find other useful sites.
I have been tweeting periodically about the ongoing situation in Japan, especially stories that may not get picked up by the international news media.
Data. Look at the data.
Here are some data visualization sites that I keep track of regularly. You may find them useful too. This is something I learned to do during the Great East Japan Earthquake of March 11, 2011.
Unfortunately - and this is my personal view only - news media, even the ones considered to be reliable, frequently exaggerate or twist the message to fit their narrative - especially the headlines. But the numbers can be checked by anyone, which is a great thing, and you can draw your own conclusions from them - or seek out the advice of actual experts.
Coronavirus COVID-19 Japan Case by Each Prefecture (2019-nCoV) - this draws data from the prefectures rather than the Ministry of Health.
Hospital bed occupancy rates by prefecture - this lists all the hospital beds available for treating COVID-19 patients, and their current occupancy.
Latest updates on COVID-19 in Tokyo" - official page from the government of Tokyo
Kanagawa prefecture - official page from the government of Kanagawa prefecture, Japanese only
Chiba prefecture page - official page from the government of Chiba prefecture, Japanese only
These are the only 3 prefectures that I am aware of at this time that have their own data pages, but I'll add more if others crop up.
Coronavirus COVID-19 Global Cases by the Center for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE) at Johns Hopkins University - this one is widely used. Note: I've noticed that some of the numbers change here without explanation, so I am not too sure how reliable it is.
This page (Worldmeters) has the actual numbers.
This last one is a bit esoteric perhaps, but for data visualization fans it's fascinating. From the homepage:
"Nextstrain is an open-source project to harness the scientific and public health potential of pathogen genome data. We provide a continually-updated view of publicly available data alongside powerful analytic and visualization tools for use by the community. Our goal is to aid epidemiological understanding and improve outbreak response."
About the graphic
The graphic above is provided by the Japanese Ministry of Health. We are way past the "wash your hands" stage; their recommendations for gatherings are as follows:
- Avoid closed spaces with poor ventilation
- Avoid large crowdds
- Avoid close-contact conversation, singing or shouting
You should also wash your hands and so on too!