Kishida Needs to Prepare for 6th COVID-19 Wave Urgently


Tokyo, Oct. 5 (Jiji Press)--After Fumio Kishida succeeded Yoshihide Suga as Japan's prime minister Monday, fighting the novel coronavirus crisis continues to be the top priority issue for the government.

Kishida needs to work urgently on securing enough medical capacity amid concerns that a sixth wave of infections may hit the country this winter, pundits said. To this end, Kishida is apparently eyeing the possibility of a legal revision allowing administrative authorities to make binding requests to medical institutions regarding the fight against the virus.

The new prime minister faces a difficult task of restarting social and economic activities while preventing a resurgence of infections at the same time.

The government entirely lifted its coronavirus state of emergency and pre-emergency at the end of September. But infectious disease experts warn that the country will be hit by the next wave of infections in the not-so-distant future, saying that ventilation could be insufficient in winter.

On Friday, the health ministry asked prefectural governments to secure enough medical professionals and hospital beds on the assumption that new infection cases will bounce back to levels similar to those in the fifth wave. The central government should work closely with local authorities in implementing COVID-19 measures, such as giving antibody cocktail treatment to coronavirus patients self-quarantining at home, experts said.

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Jiji Press