Kishida Mulls Reviewing COVID-19 Classification

Politics Lifestyle

Tokyo, July 31 (Jiji Press)--Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said Sunday that his government is reviewing the classification of COVID-19 under the infectious disease law.

The government is considering lowering the status of COVID-19, currently classified into Category II, the second-highest on the five-stage scale of seriousness of infectious diseases, sources familiar with the matter said.

Once the classification is lowered, less stringent response will become possible over the disease. The government may consider the possibility of ceasing to count all COVID-19 cases.

Kishida told reporters that the government will consider the classification of COVID-19 carefully. He indicated that any change in the classification will come once the current seventh wave of infections calms down, saying: "Infections are spreading now. There will be no change at this timing."

Costs for examining Category II infectious diseases are completely covered by public funds. All cases need to be reported. Hospitals allowed to examine patients are limited in number, causing strain in the medical care system.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press