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I wonder how Japan can decide whether to extend the emergency declaration for the coronavirus outbreak without any convincing data or explanation.

The number of confirmed cases obviously does not serve the purpose. Whether it is due to the continued lack of testing capacity or the lack of will to test every suspected case in order to please some worried officials and medical institutions who want to avoid trouble, there is still a huge gap between the number of tests conducted so far and the requests from suffering patients and worried citizens wanting to get tested. Nobody should be able to judge and decide whether or not to extend the declaration and for how long if it is to be extended in a situation like this.

While asking people to have the courage to stay home, officials should have the courage to test, test, and test to see the real picture so that they can respond in a convincing and reliable manner, not something like wasting a large amount of tax money to distribute masks only to recall them.

Josh Nakayama
Kurashiki, Okayama Prefecture

The opinions expressed in this letter to the editor are the writer’s own and do not necessarily reflect the policies of The Japan Times.

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