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Regarding the Aug. 4 article “62% in Japan with cold-like symptoms went to work amid pandemic” and similar news reports, one of the most logical measures to fight COVID-19 that the Japanese authorities unfortunately didn't take was to allow employees to get extra paid sick leave to stay at home when affected by flu and other coronavirus-like symptoms. This "all-very-Japanese" habit to force employees to take paid leave when they are sick forces most of them to go to work even when ill, spreading viruses among colleagues and business partners. I am European and in Europe paid sick leave is a very basic right of a worker and, after so many years in Japan, I still don't understand why nobody is even raising an eyebrow and trying to move forward a more beneficial working environment and a better society, notwithstanding that this would probably lead to lower public medical expenditures.

Francesco Formiconi

Osaka

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