4 December 2023

Misleading: Number of confirmed COVID-19 cases at Japan’s airports does not correspond to domestic cases in China

Annie Lab found the popular online calculation has no validity. Three datasets do not show what the claim implied at all.

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Problem with datasets

Three groups of data were used in establishing the claim, namely:

  1. The record of visitor arrivals to Japan by country
  2. The number of confirmed cases reported in China and the U.S.
Dataset only shows the travel history (行動歴) of the passengers who tested positive at the Japanese airports (Source: the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare of Japan)

Considering the extremely tight immigration control in Japan, most people listed in the tables were presumably Japanese passport holders who had been to China, the U.S. and other countries before returning home.

Nationalities of foreign visitors are shown in the dataset (Source: Japan National Tourism Organization)