Japan Panel Demands COVID-19 Curb Easing "in Stages"

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Tokyo, Oct. 20 (Jiji Press)--An advisory board of the health ministry demanded Wednesday that COVID-19 restrictions in Japan, including shorter operating hours at restaurants, should be relaxed "in stages."

The advisory board warned that the novel coronavirus is resurging in some other countries where people were vaccinated quickly and restrictions were then eased sharply.

"There are concerns that the number of new cases will decline at a slower pace or even stop falling," the panel said, noting that more and more people are out at night in many areas in Japan.

Still, the number of new infection cases in the country has kept declining thanks to progress in vaccinations and thorough infection countermeasures, it said.

"We can take it that we have reached a stage where progress in vaccinations is improving the infection situation," Takaji Wakita, chief of the National Institute of Infectious Diseases, who heads the advisory board, told a press conference.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press