Jakarta, CNBC Indonesia – The Japanese government will require tuberculosis (TBC) tests for tourists from six countries, namely the Philippines, Vietnam, China, Indonesia, Nepal and Myanmar.
Japanese Health Minister Keizo Takemi revealed that this obligation applies to citizens of the six countries who wish to visit Japan for three months or more.
The reason for imposing this obligation is because new TB patients in Japan recently came from these countries. So, when a tourist is found to be positive for TB, his visa will not be issued.
As reported by The Asahi Shimbun, as quoted by Detikcom, the TB test cannot be done just anywhere, but must be done at a medical institution appointed by the Japanese government.
Meanwhile, the Asian Nikkei, reported that Japan is struggling to overcome a surge in tuberculosis cases among migrants, prompting a new policy requiring proof of non-infection from visa applicants from China, the Philippines and four other Asian countries with high infection rates.
TB disease among non-Japanese people increased 40 percent in the five years since 2012, with 1,530 people contracting TB in 2017. This increase is in line with the increase in the number of foreign residents, which reached a record of around 2.63 million people at the end of last June.
The percentage of TB sufferers in the total population has also increased, reaching 9% in 2017. In the following year, a physical examination of foreign trainees at a farm in Kagawa Prefecture showed a white shadow on the chest X-ray of a woman in her 20s from Laos.
Further examination confirmed the diagnosis of pulmonary TB. Eleven other people, most of them fellow trainees, were also infected with TB bacteria, with two showing symptoms.
Japan’s border control law prohibits the entry of TB patients. However, identifying it is difficult because patients with it in the early stages only show flu-like symptoms.
At the airport, quarantine officers use thermography cameras to see if any passengers have a fever. “It is a challenge to detect everyone with active TB,” said a quarantine official.
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