6th Wave of Infections in Japan Has Passed Peak: Expert

Society Health

Tokyo, Feb. 16 (Jiji Press)--The sixth wave of coronavirus infections in Japan, triggered by the omicron variant of the novel coronavirus, is believed to have passed a peak, an expert in the health ministry's pandemic advisory board said Wednesday.

"I believe that the sixth wave passed its peak in early February," Takaji Wakita, chair of the advisory board and director-general of the National Institute of Infectious Diseases, told a press conference after the day's meeting of the board.

The effective reproduction number, or the average number of people infected by a single carrier, stood at 0.98 as of Jan. 31, falling below 1.0 for the first time since Nov. 28 last year, according to an estimate shown at the meeting.

"The numbers of severely ill patients and new fatalities are likely to hit their peaks after the peak of infections," Wakita said.

He also warned that new positive cases may rebound unless the number of infected people is significantly lowered.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press