Our Activities

The epidemiological and public policy implications of the 2019 novel coronavirus: Rapid response research


The 2019 novel coronavirus (COVID-19) was first identified in Wuhan, China in late 2019 and has now spread to almost every country, including Japan. To date 20,000,000 people have been infected and there have been 750,000 deaths globally. Although Japan has weathered the pandemic with relatively few cases and deaths so far, there is no cause for complacency and St. Luke’s International Hospital has been deeply involved in the covid-19 response. Alongside the medical intervention, faculty at the graduate school of public health have been working with collaborators inside and outside Japan to identify the best interventions and policies to prevent the spread of the virus, to improve healthcare activity, and to understand the basic epidemic properties of the disease.

Professors involved

Stuart Gilmour, Daisuke Yoneoka, Huy Nguyen, Satomi Sato, Daiki Kobayashi, Sachiko Ohde, Osamu Takahashi

Students involved

Yijing Wang, Bibha Dhungel


Jinghua Li (Sun Yat Sen University, Guangzhou, China)
Huantao Yao (Sun Yat Sen University, Guangzhou, China)
Jing Gu (Sun Yat Sen University, Guangzhou, China)
Dao Thi Minh An (Hanoi Medical University, Vietnam)
Hoa Nguyen (University of Massachusetts Medical School, USA)
Shuhei Nomura (Keio University)
Yuta Tanoue (Waseda University)
Takayuki Kawashima (Tokyo Institute of Technology)
Hiroaki Miyata (Keio University)
Hiroshi Nishiura (Kyoto University)
Masahiro Hashizume (University of Tokyo)
Motoi Suzuki (National Institute of Infectious Diseases)
Hoang Van Minh (Hanoi University of Public Health, Vietnam)

Project details

GSPH staff working on the covid-19 pandemic aim to use the latest and best statistical tools to understand the dynamics of transmission in the community, to estimate the best tools to prevent its spread, and to collect community-level data to monitor and help contain the virus. We collaborated with colleagues in China during the early stage of the epidemic to understand and communicate the global threat using infectious disease modeling, and now we are using a large community-level study using a popular social networking service to understand the spread of the disease and monitor progress towards elimination. The division of biostatistics is also working on improving the mathematical and statistical tools used to assess and predict future outbreaks of emerging infectious diseases using mathematical modeling, Bayesian statistics and machine learning. We are also using survey data from various sources to study the impact of the coronavirus epidemic on the health and welfare of healthcare personnel in Japan and China. In addition, some of our academics are involved in the care of high risk people, and have started a weekly international conference since March 2020 to review policies and procedures for the behavioral guidance of children with cancer. We have collaborated with European and the U.S. groups including major pediatric cancer institutions.

Grant funding

Health and Labor Administration Promotion Survey Project grant
The project to evaluate current challenges and protection for COVID19 and future plans at psychiatry institutes.


Dr. Gilmour

Li J, Wang Y, Gilmour S, Wang M, Yoneoka D, Wang Y, You X, Gu J, Hao C, Peng L, Du Z, Xu D R, Hao Y. Estimation of the epidemic properties of the 2019 novel coronavirus: A mathematical modeling study. MedRXiv 2020.02.18.20024315.
Link: https://www.medrxiv.org/content/10.1101/2020.02.18.20024315v1

Gilmour S, Yoneoka D, Wang Y, Dhungel B, Li J, Du Z et al. A Bayesian estimate of the underreporting rate for COVID-19 based on the experience of the Diamond Princess cruise ship. [Preprint]. Bull World Health Organ. E-pub: 12 March 2020.
Link: https://www.who.int/bulletin/online_first/20-254565.pdf

Wang, Y., You X, Wang Y, Peng L, Du Z, Gilmour S, Yoneoka D, Gu J, Hao C, Hao Y, Li J. Estimating the basic reproduction number of COVID-19 in Wuhan, China. Chinese Journal of Epidemiology. Online First. [In Chinese]
Link: http://rs.yiigle.com/yufabiao/1183327.htm

Dr. Nguyen

Nguyen H, Hoang M, Dao A, Nguyen H, Nguyen T, Nguyen P, Khuong L, Le P, Gilmour S. An adaptive model of health system organization and responses helped Vietnam to successfully halt the Covid-19 pandemic: What lessons can be learned from a resource-constrained country. The International Journal of Health Planning and Management. 2020; 1-5.

Hoang MV, Nguyen P, Tran TTP, Khuong LQ, Dao ATM, Nguyen HV, Djalante R, Tran HTT. The COVID-19 pandemic in the ASEAN: A preliminary report on the spread, burden and medical capacities. Asian Pacific Journal of Tropical Medicine. 2020;13(6): 247-251. http://www.apjtm.org/article.asp?issn=1995-7645;year=2020;volume=13;issue=6;spage=247;epage=251;aulast=Hoang.

Dr. Sato

Cochrane Childhood Cancer International Guidelines Harmonization Group. COVID-19 v1.0 for survivors of childhood, adolescent or young adult cancer. IGHG COVID-19 Statement v1.0. April 7th 2020.

Dr. Yoneoka

Yoneoka, D., Tanoue, Y., Nomura, S., Kawashima, T., Eguchi, A., Shi, S., Harada, N. and Miyata, H., 2020. Mental health of family, friends, and co-workers of COVID-19 patients in Japan. Psychiatry Research, 2020: p.113067.

Yoneoka, D., Kawashima, T., Nomura, S., Tanoue, Y., Eguchi, A., Shi, S. and Miyata, H. The relationship between fever rate and telework implementation as a social distancing measure against the COVID-19 pandemic in Japan. Public Health. 2020; Online First.

Yoneoka, D., Nomura, S., Tanoue, Y., Kawashima, T., Shi, S., Eguchi, A. and Miyata, H.. Time to Reconsider Diverse Ways of Working in Japan to Promote Social Distancing Measures against the COVID-19. Journal of Urban Health. 2020; 97: 457-460.

Shi S, Tanaka S, Ueno R, Gilmour S, Tanoue Y, Kawashima T, et al. Impact of travel restrictions on importation of novel coronavirus infection: An effective distance approach. Bulletin of the World Health Organization. 2020; 98:518-529.
Link: https://www.who.int/bulletin/volumes/98/8/20-255679/en/

Yoneoka D, Kawashima T, Tanoue Y, Nomura S, Ejima K, Shi S, Eguchi A, Taniguchi T, Sakamoto H, Kunishima H, Gilmour S, Nishiura H, Miyata H. Early SNS-based monitoring system for the COVID-19 outbreak in Japan: A population-level observational study. Journal of Epidemiology. 2020: Online First.
Link: https://www.jstage.jst.go.jp/article/jea/30/8/30_JE20200150/_article

Dr. Kobayashi

Matsuo T, Kobayashi D, Taki F, Sakamoto F, Uehara Y, Mori N, Fukui T.
Prevalence of Health Care Worker Burnout During the Coronavirus Disease 2019
(COVID-19) Pandemic in Japan. JAMA Netw Open. 2020 Aug 3;3(8):e2017271
Link: https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamanetworkopen/fullarticle/2768947

Dr.Takahashi and Dr.Ohde

Yamaji N, Ohde S, Kimi Estela Kobayashi-Cuya, Saito S, Takahashi O
Current Evidence of the Pharmacological Treatments for Novel Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19):
A Scoping Review MedRxiV 2020 May 18, doi: https://doi.org/10.1101/2020.05.12.20093997
Link: https://www.medrxiv.org/content/10.1101/2020.05.12.20093997v1