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838 coronavirus infections went unreported in Tokyo between November and January

The Tokyo Metropolitan Government headquarters. (Mainichi/Makoto Ogawa)

TOKYO -- The Tokyo Metropolitan Government revealed on Feb. 15 that a total of 838 coronavirus infections in Japan's capital went unreported between Nov. 18, 2020 and Jan. 31, 2021.

    The infection figures were left out as staff at public health centers forgot to file reports due to busy schedules following a sudden rise in COVID-19 cases, among other causes. The accumulated total of novel coronavirus infections as of Feb. 15, including the unreported figures, is 107,609.

    According to the metropolitan government, one to 73 infections were omitted per day from tally reports. Following the correction of infection figures, the number of new coronavirus cases recorded in Tokyo on Jan. 7 will have been 2,520, up from the original single-day high of 2,447 cases reported on the same day.

    Since Dec. 28 last year, the metropolitan government has been aggregating information on COVID-19 patients by using the Japanese government's online system called "HER-SYS," after switching from fax reports. However, there have reportedly been many cases where public health centers forgot to input information into the system to share with the metropolitan government as they were busy with operations. In late January, there were numerous reports from public health centers claiming that multiple infections went unreported, and the capital requested that they make reconfirmations.

    Unreported infection figures have been confirmed at 18 public health centers, including 390 cases at the Katsushika Ward public health center, 228 at the Ikebukuro public health center, and 96 at the Shibuya Ward public health center.

    (Japanese original by Hitomi Saikawa, City News Department)

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