Vaccines, Behavioral Change Cited for Plunge in COVID-19 Cases

Society Lifestyle

Tokyo, Oct. 16 (Jiji Press)--While the fifth wave of novel coronavirus infections in Japan rapidly subsided in and after September, a health ministry panel of experts has yet to find a clear answer to why the number of newly confirmed infection cases has dropped dramatically.

An expert points to multiple factors, such as the effect of vaccinations and a change in people's behavior.

During the fifth wave, daily COVID-19 cases confirmed across the country hit a record high of 25,866 on Aug. 20. But the daily count started decreasing later and fell below 1,000 on Oct. 3. Daily cases in Tokyo, which peaked at 5,773 on Aug. 13, dropped past 100 on Oct. 4 and are currently standing around 50-60, levels seen in late June 2020.

As of Sept. 13, about half of the country's population were fully vaccinated against the coronavirus. As of Friday, the proportion came to 66.1 pct, and 74.7 pct of the population received at least one vaccine shot.

Multiple surveys have confirmed high efficacy of COVID-19 vaccines. In March-September, vaccinations helped some 650,000 people avoid infection while curbing fatalities by about 7,200, according to an estimate presented to a recent meeting of the health ministry panel.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press