According to CNN, Japan’s Prime Minister Fumio Kishida stated on Friday that the nation will consider reducing Covid-19 to the same category as seasonal influenza.
Kishida stated that he has directed his administration and the Health Ministry to investigate the implications of the action. The CNN article stated that Japan is still dealing with 100,000 coronavirus infections each day. Covid is currently ranked second, alongside TB and avian influenza. Furthermore, officials intend to place it sixth, equivalent to seasonal influenza, according to CNN, citing Japan’s Health Ministry.
“In order to further advance the efforts of ‘living with Corona’ and restore Japan to a state of normalcy, we will transition the various policies and measures to date in phases,” Kishida said.
In October last year, Japan reopened its borders to foreigners which were closed since last year. This ended one of the strictest border controls in the world, according to CNN.
The risk of death or hospitalization from Covid-19 is greatly reduced for most people due to high levels of vaccination and population immunity from previous infections, the United States Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has said.
On the other hand, World Health Organization still counts Covid as a Pandemic and reiterated in its latest update a recommendation for people to wear masks following recent exposure or close contact with Covid-19, and for “anyone in a crowded, enclosed, or poorly ventilated space” to do the same.
Prior to this, WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus urged states last week to continue sharing coronavirus sequencing data, citing the importance of detecting and tracking the development and spread of novel variations.
Although it is obvious that nations cannot sustain the same degree of testing and sequencing that existed under the Omicron variation, the WHO director stated that this is not the case. However, we cannot ignore the Covid menace and expect it to go away.
Prior to this, a Japanese health specialist issued a dire warning, predicting that the number of daily new coronavirus infections will skyrocket after mid-January, perhaps breaking the previous record.
According to Toho University Professor Tateda Kazuhiro, who serves on the government’s coronavirus advisory council, the daily Covid tally might approach the Japanese government’s prior forecast of 4,50,000 cases nationally.
On January 6, the Japanese health ministry verified 456 coronavirus-related fatalities across the country, the largest single-day toll since the outbreak began. The previous high was 420 on December 29, 2022.