Japan’s initial response to COVID-19 was similar to that of the US. However, the number of deaths in Japan has remained very low. Japan also stands out for the relatively low incidence of viral transmission in Long-Term Care Facilities (LTCFs) compared to both European countries and the United States. We argue that Japan’s institutional decision to lockdown Long-Term Care facilities as early as mid-February–weeks earlier than most European countries and the US–contributed to lowering the number of deaths in LTCFs. We highlight a few lessons from the Japanese experience: (i) the presence of hierarchically organized government agencies whose sole missions are elderly care; (ii) the presence of effective communication channels between LTCFs and the regulatory authorities; and (iii) the well-established routine protocols of prevention and control in LTCFs.
- long-term care
- nursing homes
- public health interventions
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Life-span and Life-course Studies