Japan to allow dentists to conduct novel coronavirus tests

By DrBicuspid Staff

April 28, 2020 -- Japan's health ministry has decided to allow dentists to collect samples for SARS-CoV-2 testing, according to an article in the Japan Times.

An expert panel approved the plan on Sunday, the Japan Times reported. Dentists in Japan had previously been ineligible to gather samples for polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests, as that was considered a medical practice under the law. However, the panel decided that it was imperative to allow dentists to collect samples to cope with an anticipated surge in demand for testing amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Dentists who have relevant training will be able to collect patient samples at special outpatient facilities for a certain period of time, according to the article. Local governments will be notified of the measure after operational details are fleshed out, sources told the newspaper.

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