Coronavirus Spike Impacting Social Infrastructure, Services

Society Lifestyle

Tokyo, Aug. 27 (Jiji Press)--The recent surge in novel coronavirus infections in Japan reflecting the rapid spread of the highly contagious delta variant is starting to take a toll on essential infrastructure and services, such as public transport, nurseries and waste collection, in addition to the medical system.

If the delta variant continues to spread at the current pace, it may have dire consequences for society at large, experts warn.

According to the Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry, a total of 165 nurseries and "kodomoen" nursery-kindergarten hybrids in 10 prefectures had been completely closed as of Aug. 19 due to the discovery of infection cases among people related to the facilities. Meanwhile, 4,229 such child care facilities have reported coronavirus infections to date.

Clusters of infections have occurred at not only such facilities but also special facilities for children with disabilities.

One nursery in the Tokyo metropolitan area was forced to close for two weeks this month, due to multiple infection cases among its children and staff. It was the first time for the facility to confirm infections. "I realized the infectiousness of the delta variant," the nursery's head said. "Society's functions may already be starting to collapse, little by little."

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press