Japan Panel Starts Talks on Revising Infectious Disease Law

Society Health Politics

Tokyo, Aug. 1 (Jiji Press)--A panel of experts at Japan's health ministry Monday started discussions on revising the country's infectious disease law in response to the seventh wave of novel coronavirus infections.

They also exchanged opinions on a possible change in the legal classification of COVID-19, after Prime Minister Fumio Kishida expressed intention Sunday to review the classification after the current infection wave is over.

Some meeting participants said only reclassifying the coronavirus-caused diseases, now in the second highest Class II infectious disease category in terms of severity, into the lower Class V category, which contains seasonal influenza, will newly pose financial burdens on patients.

Then they underscored the importance of enabling authorities to flexibly cope with problems arising from COVID-19 reclassification by creating a new law.

Another panel member pointed out that public health centers are under increasing load from reporting all new coronavirus cases. Echoing the member, some others called on the government to stop requiring all doctors report detailed information on all new COVID-19 patients.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press