Japan shortens COVID isolation period to accelerate economic recovery

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Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said on Tuesday that Japan will shorten the period of isolation for COVID-19 patients with symptoms to seven days from the current 10 days, indicating it will accelerate efforts to lift the economy out of a recession caused by the coronavirus pandemic. to fetch.

The recovery period is also shortened for those who are infected but show no symptoms to five out of seven days if they test negative for the virus. Kishida said his government will finalize the revisions after hearing opinions at a meeting of health experts on Wednesday.

Kishida also told reporters that Japan will start inoculations this month against the Omicron variant targeting people 12 years and older and that it is aiming for more than 1 million injections a day sometime between October and November.

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“We will continue to transition into a new phase of (living) with the coronavirus and stepping up our efforts to balance socio-economic activities (prevent and promote infection),” Kishida said in the prime minister’s office. The number of new infections is on a downward trend, he added.

About 112,000 new cases of coronavirus were reported in Japan on Tuesday, 40,000 fewer than a week earlier. The death toll remained relatively high, above 300.

In Tokyo, the metropolitan government confirmed a further 9,486 cases. The seven-day moving average of new infections in the capital was 11,610 per day, down 34.5 percent from the previous week.

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Kishida said the government will also review the detailed coronavirus reporting system across the country from Sept. 26 as part of efforts to reduce the burden on hospitals and local health centers after the Omicron tribe greatly increased the number of cases and stretched the medical system. left. .

Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida speaks with reporters in his office in Tokyo on September 6, 2022. (TBEN)

With the change, municipalities will limit the scope of detailed reporting to patients at high risk of developing serious symptoms, such as those 65 and older and those requiring hospitalization. Some prefectures have already introduced the new method.

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While there are concerns that such a revision would make it impossible to understand the infection trend, Kishida said, “We will continue to understand the total number of people infected, including those who are not subject to the detailed reporting, by improving the system.”

Japan has been hit by the seventh wave of coronavirus infections. But as it tries to “live with the coronavirus”, the government has not imposed strict restrictions and has relaxed border control measures.