• Jiji, Kyodo

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SoftBank Group Corp. Chairman Masayoshi Son said Tuesday that 0.43 percent of more than 40,000 group employees, medical workers and others tested positive in novel coronavirus antibody tests.

Of the 44,066 people who took the tests in Japan, 191 were positive, meaning they had coronavirus infections in the past, according to an announcement made by Son in an online conference.

The tests, conducted between May 12 and Monday, covered 38,216 employees of SoftBank Group businesses and client companies plus 5,850 medical workers.

Of the employees, 0.23 percent tested positive. The share was higher at 1.79 percent among the medical workers.

In Tokyo, 3.1 percent of the medical workers who took the tests were found positive, against 2.8 percent in Chiba Prefecture, 2.2 percent each in Osaka and Hiroshima prefectures, 2.0 percent in Hokkaido and 1.9 percent in Fukuoka Prefecture.

The results are important because they are generally in line with the outcomes of polymerase chain reaction tests by the health ministry, an infectious disease specialist of the National Center for Global Health and Medicine said in the online conference.

“When we quickly resume our business operations, we cannot ward off concerns of a second wave of infections. I hope these results would be of help in some ways to contain the pandemic,” Son said.

The government also launched antibody tests targeting some 10,000 people, in the hope of grasping the extent to which the virus has spread and assessing the outlook for infection numbers should there be second wave.

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