Japan Panel Calls for Continued Vigilance against Coronavirus

Society Lifestyle

Tokyo, May 27 (Jiji Press)--An advisory board of Japan's health ministry has urged the nation to remain alert for the novel coronavirus although new infection cases are on a declining trend as a whole.

At a meeting on Wednesday, members of the panel shared the view that the situation requires continued vigilance. The total number of newly confirmed infection cases in the nation started to decrease in mid-May, but some regions continue to see rises in new cases, the panel pointed out.

As a highly contagious British variant has largely taken the place of the original strain, infections could spread faster and it could take longer for infections to subside, it warned.

New infection cases are falling in the Tokyo metropolitan area and the Kansai western region, but people and authorities need to remain vigilant without being optimistic, it said. New cases are expected to continue increasing in the northernmost prefecture of Hokkaido and the southernmost prefecture of Okinawa, both under the government's ongoing coronavirus state of emergency, the panel said.

At a press conference, Takaji Wakita, head of the National Institute of Infectious Diseases, warned that a mutant strain spreading in India "could be about 50 pct more infectious than the British variant," citing research on the Indian variant conducted overseas.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press