Japan will begin allowing dentists to take nose and throat swab samples to test patients for the novel coronavirus, according to The Japan Times. The decision comes after an expert panel recommended it to the Health Ministry at a meeting on Sunday, the Times says, citing informed sources. Until now, dentists haven’t been authorized to conduct such tests, but Japan’s state of emergency over COVID-19, the disease caused by the virus, led to consideration of the special measure.In recent weeks, however, the country has seen its number of confirmed cases increase, apparently in part because of increased testing. “If we max out eight beds, we can’t place patients who suddenly take a turn for the worse, so we always keep one bed open,” Fumie Sakamoto, who manages the 500-room hospital’s infection control division, told Reuters.
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