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Has Tokyo achieved herd immunity for COVID?

Shibuya Crossing in Tokyo, Japan
Credit: Hide1228/Wikipedia/Creative Commons 4.0

According to medical researchers from Japan and the US, stats suggest Tokyo, Japan, may have achieved herd immunity over the summer months. Herd immunity occurs when enough people have caught a particular virus, that it slows the virus’ spread. When that happens, the number of new infections begins to drop.

It should be noted that Japan and Tokyo did not institute a lockdown, with businesses and public transportation remaining open during the pandemic. This allowed the virus to spread more quickly between people than in regimes that instituted a lockdown.

The researchers had been testing a group of working people from 11 different Tokyo businesses for COVID since May. They noted that in May, 5.8% of their group tested positive for COVID and by the end of summer it had reached 46.8%

At around the same time 50% of their group tested positive for COVID, the researchers noticed that the number of new cases of the virus in Tokyo had also started to fall.

With a population of 13 million people, 37 million in the Greater Tokyo area, the city has a very high population density and the researchers believed that their test group represented what was happening in the general population.

This suggested by the end of summer, Tokyo had achieved herd immunity for the virus.

The seropositivity rate and 7 days moving average of daily confirmed new cases of COVID19 from 5/26 to 9/1

The researchers also noted that despite no lockdown, the number of deaths attributed to COVID in Japan has been significantly lower than those that instituted a lockdown.

Amazing Health reports:

Compared with the United States and European countries, COVID-19-related mortality has been low in Japan, and the death rate has fallen despite the absence of a lockdown.

READ: Tokyo Citizens May Have Developed COVID-19 Herd Immunity, Say Researchers

Of course, this is not the first time that researchers have noted that regions that did not institute lock downs had lower death rates than those that did.

READLockdowns DON’T work, study claims: Researchers say stay-at-home orders made no difference to coronavirus deaths around the world – but prior health levels DID

READ: New study: Coronavirus lockdowns don’t save lives

READ: COVID-19 death rate is 75% lower in states that didn’t lock down: WSJ

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