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Chiba Pref. says 32,000 COVID-19 cases were reported under Tokyo tally from Feb. 2022

Tokyo Metropolitan Government headquarters (Mainichi)

About 32,000 new daily COVID-19 cases recorded in Chiba Prefecture, east of the capital, were included in Tokyo's daily infection tally from late February, the Chiba Prefectural Government announced on Aug. 17.

    The situation reportedly occurred because a medical institution in Tokyo that had been commissioned by a COVID-19 registration center in Chiba Prefecture submitted reports to a public health center in the capital. The center is in charge of registering individuals who test positive for the coronavirus based on analysis of images of self-testing results.

    Japan's infectious diseases control law specifies that medical institutions must submit reports on designated infectious diseases to their nearest public health center. According to the Tokyo Metropolitan Government, the background leading to the miscalculation was revealed following a close investigation by the Metro government into COVID-19 reports, as authorities in the capital suspected that Chiba prefectural residents were accounting for an unnaturally large proportion of recent new daily infections in Tokyo.

    The Chiba Prefectural Government said that 32,379 people who were deemed infected via the prefecture's registration center between Feb. 24 and Aug. 14 were counted among new daily cases in Tokyo. According to the Tokyo Metropolitan Government, on Aug. 15, 2,783 cases, or over 10% of Tokyo's 23,135 new coronavirus cases were actually figures registered at the Chiba Prefecture center and another center set up by the prefectural city of Noda. Those cases were not included in Chiba's infection tally, and there were no cases that were doubly reported.

    A Tokyo government official commented, "We were not informed or consulted about this beforehand by the Chiba Prefectural Government, and we are perplexed over the situation." A Chiba Prefectural Government representative apparently apologized to the metropolitan government on Aug. 16.

    (Japanese original by Naotaka Ito, Tokyo City News Department, and Katsuyoshi Ishikawa, Chiba Bureau)

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