Japan Introduces New Criteria for Assessing Spread of COVID-19Health Society
The Japanese government’s COVID-19 advisory panel has decided on new criteria for assessing the spread of infection.
Previously the government defined four stages, based mainly on the number of new infections per 100,000 people, as well as the hospital bed occupancy rate. Stage 4, the most serious, was an indicator for when a state of emergency was required.
In the new system, there are five levels from 0 to 4, based on the pressure on medical services. One of the criteria for jumping from level 2 to level 3 is a hospital bed occupancy rate climbing over 50% for both ordinary and severe cases. Prefectures can make a decision based on all factors to raise the level to 3, and implement emergency or pre-emergency measures.
New Criteria for COVID-19 Assessment
|Level 4 (Aim to avoid)|
|Level 3 (Strengthen measures): equivalent to stage 4 and the top level of stage 3 in the former system.|
|Limits are placed on ordinary medical services required to treat COVID-19.||
|Level 2 (Increase caution)|
|The number of new infections is on the rise, but increasing hospital bed availability enables necessary treatment.||
|Level 1 (Aim to maintain)|
|Ordinary medical services can be provided stably; COVID-19 treatment is also possible in hospitals.||
(Originally published in Japanese. Banner photo: Crowds in Ginza, Tokyo, on October 23, 2021, following the lifting of the state of emergency. © Jiji.)