Care Packages Sent by Tokyo to Quarantining Citizens Spur Debate Over U.S. COVID Outreach

After testing positive for the coronavirus, a Reddit user shared a care package received from the Tokyo Metropolitan Government, sparking commenters from around the world to compare their own government's outreach.

A photo that accompanied the post showed roughly a week's worth of instant meals, including Japanese curry, udon and soba noodles, as well as basics like coffee, water, packaged fruits, beans, dried soup, instant rice and chips.

The user, known as FriedCheeseKurdz, wrote: "I got tested positive for covid a couple days ago. Every morning I get a phone call that requires me to update how I am feeling that day in regards to temperature, symptoms, and oxygen levels."

The person, who lives alone, was offered a hotel room to quarantine in but declined. "They then asked me if I wanted food to be sent to my house, to which I agreed (it was free)," the user wrote.

Citizens can also request things like pulse oximeters, used to measure blood oxygen saturation, to be delivered to their doors, according to the Tokyo Metropolitan Government's website.

Commenters to the post were quick to respond with their own experiences, and users from New Zealand, Germany and Thailand said they have seen similar care packages. However, others—in the U.S. and the U.K. specifically—used the post to call out their own governments for the lack of a similar response.

One user wrote, "I'm sure that helps you not feel so alone in this battle. The United States government has [bungled] this every turn so it is very refreshing to see a country actually taking decisive and beneficial actions!"

Another commented, "Uk government. Stay home, don't come out and if you run out of food, tough luck. Absolutely insane."

Scientist Lucky Tran tweeted, "For those saying 'there isn't much more the US government can do,' look at what someone in Japan gets sent when they test positive for COVID so that they can recover and isolate."

Tran added, "We need to push our leaders to do more, and stop excusing their inaction."

One user on Reddit wrote, "It's mind blowing how differently various countries are treating their people during this pandemic, and it really affects the very basic beliefs/knowledge that people have as a community towards the virus. It's basically completely different realities."

Japan has seen a steadily increasing wave of infections because of the surge in Omicron variant cases, with 4,194 new cases reported in the past 24 hours, according to the World Health Organization.

Japanese Health Minister Shigeyuki Goto has said that Omicron is "rapidly increasing in some regions," and Reuters reported an increase in cases in Okinawa.

Sources close to Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida have said the country plans to maintain its strict border restrictions until at least February. Japan has banned entries by foreign nationals worldwide since November.

Newsweek reached out to the U.S. Embassy in Japan for additional comment but did not hear back in time for publication.

Covid-19 Vaccinations Continue In Tokyo As The
A viral post showing a care package sent to a quarantining citizen by Tokyo's government has generated responses worldwide. Above, 12-year-old Teppei Miyashitas' mother looks on as he receives the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine on December 24, 2021, in Tokyo. Carl Court/Getty Images