Japan to downgrade Covid-19 to same level as seasonal flu on May 8
Tokyo, Jan 27 (EFE).- Japan will downgrade the coronavirus to the same level as a seasonal flu on May 8, thereby easing virus-prevention measures, Prime Minister Fumio Kishida announced after a cabinet meeting on Friday.
Kishida said that the government took the decision after a meeting with the health ministry.
Currently, the coronavirus is classified as category two, the second highest in the five-tier system based on severity and infectiousness, which allows authorities to take strict measures and impose restrictions on movement to help reduce cases.
Lowering the classification to category five would put Covid-19 at the same level as that of less serious infections such as the seasonal flu.
The prime minister also said that the current quarantine system for positive cases and close contacts would be reviewed, along with financial assistance, the recommendation to wear masks indoors and future vaccination campaigns.
Until now, only infectious disease hospitals can admit and treat Covid-19 patients but after the transition to category five, a greater number of hospitals will be able to do so.
The hospitalization expenses that are covered by public money may also have to be shared by the patient after the downgrade.
Travelers visiting Japan are required to present a vaccination certificate but that could also change with the new regulations, although the government has not offered further details in this regard.
The Japanese authorities currently advise people to wear masks both indoors as well as outdoors when a minimum interpersonal distance cannot be kept.
Although masks have never been mandatory in Japan, most citizens have been using them both indoors and outdoors since the start of the pandemic.
The Asian country, with 125 million inhabitants, has a total of 32.3 million infections since the start of the pandemic and just over 66,000 deaths from the virus, and has been registering between 106,000 and 70,000 new cases per day in the last week . EFE
The Asian country, which has a population of 125 million, has recorded a total of 32.3 million infections since the start of the pandemic and just over 66,000 deaths.
In the last week, it has been registering between 70,000 and 106,000 daily new cases. EFE