Japan is among the few countries that went against the grain in its response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Initially, the number of cases was low, largely due to the identification of disease clusters and despite the absence of a lockdown or intensive testing. Lately a surge in cases has led to calls for a state of emergency.
Reversal of fortunes
The graph shows the seven-day rolling average of COVID-19 cases since the 100th case in select countries. Japans curve not only flattened, but also started to dip after the 24th day. But since then its fortunes have reversed.
Dipping and surging
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Belgium had an early lockdown and a higher testing rate. India had an early, stringent lockdown but a very low testing rate.
On the other hand, South Korea did not have a lockdown, but tested at higher rates. Japan did not have a lockdown either, nor were its testing rates high.
The graph shows the no. of COVID-19 tests per million population in select countries and Indian States. Japans testing rates were lower initially and continued to be so, while other countries ramped up.
Indias testing rates were even lower than Japan.
Not testing enough
Business as usual
The chart shows phone traffic from workplaces in Japan since February 16. The graph shows no significant change, meaning, the Japanese continued to work from offices.
The chart uses anonymised location data from phones in Japan to show how visits and length of stay in workplaces changed compared to the zero line.
Source: Johns Hopkins University and Googles COVID-19 community mobility reports