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Translated by: MOS English Team – Summerfire

On May 9, Japan’s Ministry of Health, Labor, and Welfare notified the local government in writing, requiring drug stores not to sell “Research-Use” rapid-test reagent products. These products have not been approved by the government due to a lack of accuracy.

Last year, before Japan’s “Medical-Use” rapid test reagents were available on the market, “Research-Use” rapid screening reagents were sold on the Internet and in drug stores, even though these “Research-Use” products were not approved by the government. The packaging was labeled “99% accuracy”, making the buyers mistakenly believe the test results. The incorrect test detection caused an increase in infections last year.

At a press conference held on May 10, the Tokyo Medical Association called on Japan to gradually lift restrictions on outdoor masks while maintaining social distance. As summer is approaching, lifting outdoor mask orders will help avoid the risk of heatstroke caused by rising temperature and high humidity. Ozaki, president of the Tokyo Metropolitan Medical Association, said that more than 80% of the elderly in Tokyo had received three doses of vaccination. He believes that earlier mask-wearing did protect the elderly, but now that the vaccination rate of the elderly is very high, the elderly are capable of protecting themselves. Therefore, he calls on the Japanese government to gradually lift the outdoor mask order.

In addition to Japan’s gradual loosening of epidemic prevention measures, South Korea has also officially lifted its nationwide mask restrictions since May 2. Taiwan originally planned to relax restrictions. However, since the current epidemic has not yet reached its peak, a delay in loosening epidemic prevention restrictions is necessary.


Proofread / Edited by: Emily G
Chief Editor: James Zoebel, Xiequyuan G.
Posted by: Emily G

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