[COVID-19] Why do we need to stay home? Dr. Omi, Vice Chair of Japan Novel Coronavirus Expert Meeting explains

COVID-19 coronavirus stay home Wellbeing

On the 23 March, the Prime Minister announced “Stay Home Enforcement”, excluding key workers.  Yet, we still see

  • some gardeners working 🚫
  • 2 young lovers come to parking area in the forest in separate cars then get together in one of the car 🆘
  • relative visiting a family for lunch💢

It would require explanation behind this enforcement. CLUSTER!

Government Directive

In the UK, the general public required to stay home excluding essential shopping (food, medicine), medical appointment and exercise (walking, cycling, jogging) respecting 2m social distancing.

On the 14th March, UK’s infection confirmed case had exceeded that of Japan, whilst death total number was kept lower.  Thereafter, UK reported much higher increase both confirmed new case and New Death numbers.

As at 31 March, Japan kept death number at 56, whilst UK increased to 1408.  Italy’s death number exceeded that of China in March and at the end of the month, stands at 11591.

What can we do in the UK to prevent Overshoot as we witnessed in Italy?

COVID-19 UK coronavirus

A: % Total Death number divided by Total Confirmed number, UK has high death rate in line with that of Italy.
B: % Total Death number divided by 2019 population.

Why do we need to stay home?

Nobel Laureate Physiology/Medicine Professor Sinya Yamanaka interviewed Dr. Shigeru Omi, Vice Chair of Japan Novel Coronavirus Expert Meeting.

This interview is in Japanese language, however video like this would help us public to understand the reason why we have to stay home.

With such knowledge, we understand what we need to do to prevent spread of COVID-19.

Extract translation in block-quote for your reference.

Cluster (Group Infection)

In response to Professor Yamanaka’s question, Dr. omi explained the difference between COVID-19 and the flu in two aspect.

How virus spread, what is Cluster?


For example 5 people gathered together and 1 out of 5 had the flu. With this gathering, the other 4 also infected flu.

All go back home, usually that infected person will pass flu on to at least one other individual. Flu spreads gradually.


On the other hand, Novel Coronavirus, the spread seems to be different. With the evidence that is slowly coming out and being gathered, expert scientists team now believe this is how it differs to Influenza;-

For example 5 people gathered together and 1 out of 5 had Covid-19. With this gathering, the other 4 are also infected. Now all 5 have Covid-19.

However, returning to their homes, 4 out of 5 people will NOT pass Covid-19 to their family and others.

Only 1 person out of 5 will pass Covid-19 to someone else.

The reasons why only 1 person out of 5 would infect others, and 4 out of 5 will not infect others are still unclear.

If this one infected individual shows little or no symptoms, such as cold-like symptoms at most, this person would go to work or for example a music venue. By so doing, there is a possibility that the virus will spread to a large number of people in one setting.

Covid-19 is different from the flu. The flu gradually spread out, whilst Covid-19 spreads explosively and locally to those close density, which is called Cluster.

This spread is more like a sudden burst like fireworks. This burst is a cluster.

Even we do not know yet and cannot specify the 1 person out of 5 who could spread the virus, we know now the dangerous place of high infection risk, a place to avoid where three conditions are met.

If we can identify the Covid-19 clusters, then follow the people who were in this cluster to prevent other cluster to be formed, by so doing we can prevent setting off more cluster explosive infections.

Video like this in easy language, not using medical terms, helps us public to understand the reason why we have to stay home, very useful.

Cause of Death

People die from the flu, but these are usually complications caused by the flu virus. A person already had underlying medical conditions, they die from complications or different illness cause by the flu.  Flu symptoms 1-3 days.

On the other hand, the pneumonia that comes from COVID-19 is severe. The virus itself directly attacks the lungs of the infected person. Within a week, some getting better, others suffer severe pneumonia those individuals cannot breathe and especially elderly pass away quickly.

Where are we in dealing with Novel Coronavirus?

COVID-19 is a kind of natural disaster, something entirely new to us, we are still in a stage to collet data.

If we do not act correctly and proactively, it has the ability to cause severe damage on both personal and economic levels all over the world.

But if we act swiftly and correctly, Professor Yamanaka believes that even though we could not have no-damage situation, we still have a chance to prevent further harm.


PCR criteria need to be specified and increase capacity

  • Anyone had breathing difficulty from day 1 and heavy tiredness
  • Elderly people

New Virus what is the implications?

What our immune system does is to create a defence against every virus and bacteria we have come into contact to protect us from those same viruses and bacteria.

As COVID-19 is a new virus no one has come into contact before, we have no way defending ourselves from it.

Development of vaccine and new form of treatment will be available, until such medical advancements were made, it is crucial to lower the spread of this virus as low as possible.

What do we need to do NOW?

We should not let our guards down, but we do not need to get panic. Instead, we need to continue moving forward by acting in a calm and correct manner.

(1)Surveillance : increase human resources to pinpoint clusters.
(2)Public co-operation (each one of us can do by staying at home)
(3)Enhance Medical Capacity and Facility.

Antigen-antibody reaction test: The flu has been a threat to humanity for much longer period, therefore influenza virus antibodies are more readily available. By using these antibodies, a doctor can use simple tests for the flu. We hope similar test for Covid-19 would be developed in due course.

Exercises, walking and jogging, out door exercises are good.

“We can’t be careless but if we act correctly, if we all work together to move in the right direction with international co-operation, I believe we will not lose to this virus” said Professor. Yamanaka.

Diligently follow government’s guidelines

Knowing the cluster infection of Covid-19, how we interact plays an extremely large role in the outcome. That is why UK government announced enforcement of Stay at Home on the 23rd of March.

With this infectious disease, it is believed that depending on our response to how we handle the situation can either make severe problem or manage it with minimal damage.

Human wisdom seems to be tested by this Virus.

Specialists are looking at the evidence day after day and diligently trying to figure out what we should do next, we need to diligently follow their guidelines.

Being optimistic at this stage, it would cause great damage. We need to act diligently, and we can help prevent further infections by staying at home!!

Respiratory Team message

The message from our respiratory team is clear. Stay at home to save lives. This is a crucial time in our fight back against Covid-19. Stay at home.

Posted by Belfast Health and Social Care Trust on Sunday, March 22, 2020

Please remember the place to avoid is where those three conditions are met, it’s very dangerous. A high risk of infection.

🚷 Places that many people gather in density
🚷 Places that are poorly ventilated
🚷 Not just being close proximity but using voices

With this video extract translation, hope you will find the reason why we need to Stay Home to prevent further infection, stay healthy and support NHS system .

Stay Home and Healthy!

Etsuko Ito MSc.

MINDFULNESS & CBT Anxiety Treatment, New Forest National Park, England, UK
Message from Etsuko Ito MSc. Following Prime Minister's announcement on 23rd March 2020 and Government directive, I a...
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