January 29, 2020
Revised January 31, 2020
Revised February 5, 2020
Revised February 12, 2020
Revised February 18, 2020
Revised March 10, 2020
Revised March 26, 2020
Revised March 27, 2020
Revised May 18, 2020
Health Support Center
What we most need to do right now to prevent the further spread of infection
Q1: What environments have a high risk of spreading infection, and what preventive measures can be taken?
－ Please avoid the three “CLOSE” conditions.
It is said that areas meeting the following three conditions have a high risk of cluster outbreak (contamination of a grouped number of people).
①CLOSED spaces with poor ventilation
②Crowds where many people get in CLOSE contact with each other
③Situations where people converse or vocalize at CLOSE distances
The most important thing is to prevent cluster outbreaks (contamination of groups of people).
Please take the below three actions in order to prevent the three “CLOSE” conditions from occurring simultaneously at events and gatherings.
①Keep the air fresh (ventilate rooms and other enclosed spaces).
②Practice social distancing (avoid forming large groups of people within reaching distance of each other).
③Don’t vocalize near other people (avoid talking or raising your voice within close range of others).
In particular, “events with unspecified numbers of people gathered from all over the country” (such as the case of the live music performance in a club), where it is difficult to avoid the above three conditions occurring simultaneously, have been pointed out as increasing the risk of an “overshoot” (an explosive increase in the number of cases).
Even if the event itself is carried out in a low-risk area, social gatherings, etc. carried out after the event will increase the risk of spreading contagion. Please exercise great caution in your actions.
Cases where one person infected two or more people:
occurred at a sports gym, yakatabune (roofed pleasure boat for eating, drinking, and sightseeing), buffet-style gathering, Mahjong game, ski guesthouse, enclosed temporary tent, etc.
Q2: When returning from abroad, what is required before and after entering Japan due to the strengthening of the government’s border control measures?
－ Those who have stayed in a “quarantine-strengthened area” within the past 14 days from the day of entry and those who have stayed in an “areas subject to restriction based on the Immigration Control Law” need to take the following measures before and after entry to Japan.
①Including those who are healthy, you will need to stay in a place (your home, etc.) designated by the quarantine station manager 14 days counting from the next day you enter Japan, and you cannot use public transportation including when you travel from the airport.
②For this reason, before entering the country, it is necessary to secure on your own, a place to stay after entering Japan and a means of transportation (other than public transportation) from the airport to the place of where you intend to stay.
③When entering Japan, a quarantine officer must register with the quarantine station information on the place you will be staying after entering Japan and the means of transportation from the airport.
For details, please contact the following at the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare
- Questions and Answers concerning drastic strengthening of border control measures on the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare website (Japanese Only)
- when calling from within Japan：0120-565-653
- when calling from overseas：+81-3-3595-2176 （Japanese, English, Chinese, Korean）
Q3: If it is suspected that I might have been infected with the virus, whom should I consult?
－ If either of the following apply, please consult with the consultation center for people with potential exposure to COVID-19 set up at your nearest public health center.
・You have one of the strong symptoms including feeling of shortness of breath (difficulty breathing), weariness (fatigue) and /or high fever.
・You either have underlying health conditions (such as diabetes, heart failure, respiratory disease (including chronic obstructive pulmonary disease)), are undergoing dialysis, or are taking medications such as immunosuppressants and anti-cancer drugs, and have relatively mild cold symptoms like fever and coughs.
・You fit to neither of the above but still have ongoing, relatively mild cold symptoms like fever and coughs. (Make sure you consult the center if you have a symptom for more than four days. For symptoms may vary between individuals, consult the center immediately if you feel you have a strong symptom. This applies to individuals who have been taking antipyretics.)
- Consultation center for people with potential exposure to COVID-19 website (Japanese Only)
Q4: If I go to Waseda University’s Health Support Center, would I be able to get a test for the novel coronavirus, get a diagnosis and treatment?
－ Unfortunately, our center cannot carry out everything from testing to diagnosis and treatment. After we consult with a public health center, they will designate a medical institution for you to go to.
Q5: Is there a prevention method?
－ Wear a face mask, wash your hands and avoid going out unnecessary.
【For your reference】
Wearing a face mask・・・http://idsc.tokyo-eiken.go.jp/assets/international/en/coughing_etiquette.pdf
Method of treatment
Q6: Is there a treatment method?
－ There is no effective treatment such as an antiviral drug. Only symptomatic treatments.
Q7: How long is the incubation period?
－ Currently, it is considered to be about 14 days at the longest.
Q8: How do I reduce my chances of being infected?
－ In general, you get infected by breathing in droplets spread by already infected person’s coughs through your mouth or nose, or by touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with hands carrying the virus. As you would do in the case of the flu, take measures against infectious diseases such as observing coughing etiquettes and washing hands.
Designated Infectious Disease
Q9: I heard that the Japanese government has classified the novel coronavirus as designated infectious disease. How would this affect university life?
－ The novel coronavirus is considered a Class 1 infectious disease stipulated in the School Health and Safety Act. For this reason, if you are infected with the novel coronavirus, immediately notify your school office and your attendance will be suspended until you are cured.
For details on procedures, etc., please read the following website of the university’s Health Support Center:
- Response to a student contracting the novel coronavirus:
https://www.waseda.jp/inst/hsc/assets/uploads/2020/03/611644c5b00b5f35aea267eded805848.pdf (Japanese Only)
- Infectious Disease https://www.waseda.jp/inst/hsc/en/information/healthcare/infection
Being in closes contact
Q10: What does “a person being in close contact” mean?
－ “a person being in close contact” means a person who came in contact with a “patient (confirmed to have COVID-19)” after two days before the patient had fallen ill, and applies to any of the following:
①An individual who had lived with, or had a prolonged contact (including in a car, plane, etc.) with a person suspected of being infected with COVID-19.
②Examined, nursed, or cared for a person who is suspected of being infected with COVID-19 without appropriate protection.
③An individual who came in direct contact with contaminants such as airway secretion or bodily fluids, or there is a high possibility of such contact.
④An individual who was in contact with a person within a distance (about one meter) where touching with hands or having face-to-face conversation for more than fifteen minutes was possible without appropriate protection against viral infection.
Q11: I have no symptoms, but what should I do if I am identified as a person being in close contact?
－ Your attendance will be suspended. It will last for 2 weeks starting the day you last had a close contact with a person infected with COVID-19. During that time, do not leave your home, wear a face mask, be sure to follow coughing etiquettes, wash your hands and always take care of yourself to stay healthy.
Please refer to the following and complete procedures for your “suspension of attendance.”
During your suspension, check the websites below:
- School Infectious Disease Prevention Policy – Class Absence Procedures (Waseda University’s Health Support Center website)
- “When nursing at home a person suspected of being infected by COVID-19”(Japanese Only)
- “How to be careful when you suspect that you are infected with COVID-19”(Japanese Only)
Q12: Is there a public consultation desk where I can get advice on what to do if I start having troubling symptoms on a Saturday, Sunday or holiday?
－ The Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare provides telephone consultation as below:
Phone Number: 0120-565653 (toll-free)
Hours Available: 9:00 to 21:00 (including Saturdays, Sundays and holidays)
There is also a Tokyo Metropolitan Government call center available every day including Saturdays, Sundays and holidays. For details, please read the following Bureau of Social Welfare and Public Health website.
- Tokyo Metropolitan Government Bureau of Social Welfare and Public Health https://www.fukushihoken.metro.tokyo.lg.jp/english/index.html