Lukewarm response to general PCR testing trial in Hiroshima City

Only just over half of available PCR tests taken up by residents in designated parts of Hiroshima city’s Naka-ku ward in COVID-19 general testing trial.

Asahi Shimbun reports that 3238 people opted to take part in the general PCR test trial held in Hiroshima City, February 19-21. This is only just over half of the 6000 free tests that were available to residents in designated areas of Naka-ku in Hiroshima city.

General testing, which was first announced while Hiroshima was battling alarming daily increases in COVID-19 infections, is being considered to get an idea of how many hidden asymptomatic cases of COVID-19 there may be in the city.

Encouraging news is that only, out of over 3000 people, only 4 positive tests were recorded – a positive infection rate of just 0.12%. Of concern, however, is that as reported in the Nikkei Shimbun, many of those who did volunteer to be tested were elderly people. This is speculation on the part of GH, but older people may have more time to go through the somewhat cumbersome testing process and who may been more cautious about the virus in general.

Perhaps the prefectural government could have encouraged a more enthusiastic response from younger people by doing at tie-up with the Hiroshima Carp organization. They could have offered a free ticket to one of next month’s preseason warm up games to anyone who tested negative 🙂

Workplace testing is to take place later this week, February 24-26. 3355 people are reported to have signed up for these tests as of 2pm February 22.