Japanese researchers think sewers could give an early coronavirus warning

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Water was tested from treatment plants in Ishikawa and Toyama in west Japan. Researchers from Toyama Prefectural University, Kanazawa University and Kyoto University. Found coronavirus in seven out of 27 samples. Yuki Furuse, of Kyoto University, was not directly part of the study but said: “Sewage testing is used as an early warning system to alert people about (possibly unnoticed) ongoing community transmission.”

The findings mirror research done in Australia, Europe and the United States.

Tokyo’s Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare say antibody tests indicated a 0.1 percent infection rate in Tokyo, 0.17percent in Osaka, and 0.03 percent in rural Miyagi Prefecture.

The ministry also approved the use of antigen cases to confirm negative cases.

Results from these can come in in 10-30 minutes.

The alternative repeated polymerise chain reaction (PCR) tests takes six hours.

At the time of writing, Japan has 17,587 confirmed coronavirus cases.

That is with 927 confirmed deaths.

Tokyo was due to host the 2020 Olympic Games.

It was scheduled to take place between July 24 and August 9.

Tokyo previously hosted the Games in 1964.

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the Games will take place in 2021.

The new schedule is for July 23 until August 8.


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The decision was made by the International Olympic Committee, the International Paralympic Committee, the Tokyo government and the Japanese government.

A statement explained: “The leaderships of the key parties came together via telephone conference earlier today, joined by IOC President Thomas Bach, Tokyo 2020 President Mori Yoshirō, Tokyo Governor Koike Yuriko and Olympic and Paralympic Minister Hashimoto Seiko, and agreed on the new schedule.

“This decision was taken based on three main considerations and in line with the principles established by the IOC Executive Board (EB) on 17 March 2020 and confirmed at its meeting today. These were supported by all the International Summer Olympic Sports Federations (IFs) and all the National Olympic Committees (NOCs):

“To protect the health of the athletes and everyone involved, and to support the containment of the COVID-19 virus.

“To safeguard the interests of the athletes and of Olympic sport.

“The global international sports calendar.”

The last summer Olympics to be cancelled were 1940, due to be held in Helsinki due to the Second World War.

Tokyo had been originally selected as a host, but forfeited the hosting a year later due to the Second Sino-Japanese War.

The First World War saw the cancellation of Berlin’s 1916 games.

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