How should Japan monitor the number of new COVID-19 patients? Is the current reporting protocol for hospitals, clinics and public health centers unrealistic given the high caseloads in recent weeks? Would the country be able to provide sufficient support to patients if it was changed?

Questions like these, as well as a larger debate about the overall monitoring of Japan’s COVID-19 situation, are raging, with the nation continuously logging over 200,000 new infections each day at present.

The health ministry and the National Institute of Infectious Diseases (NIID), which track data on infectious diseases, are currently reviewing the way new cases are reported, as the present system places an enormous administrative burden on medical institutions and public health centers.