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Government to investigate contact-tracing failures

TOKYO >> Contact tracing of a number of young people hit with COVID-19 has fallen apart. The infected young adults include nightlife district workers, and the breakdown has prompted meetings in the central and metropolitan governments to come up with solutions to the problem.

Of 7,927 Tokyo residents who tested positive as of Sunday, 479 were still in the process of being addressed with medical treatment, hospitalization or other accommodations. According to a government source, many of them could not be found.

In Tokyo, there has been a sharp increase in infections among young adults, including employees of host, hostess and kyabakura clubs — bars in which men and women sit with customers and entertain them.

Many nightlife workers confirmed to have COVID-19 are asymptomatic or have mild cases of the disease and have not been hospitalized; instead, they have been asked to isolate themselves while they recuperate.

But the whereabouts of some of them cannot be confirmed.

“Many don’t stay home. Instead they go out or continue to work elsewhere,” said a senior official in the Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry.

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