Panel Warns of Continued Rise in Japan COVID-19 Death Toll

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Tokyo, Aug. 18 (Jiji Press)--The COVID-19 death toll in Japan may continue to grow, a health ministry advisory panel said Thursday.

The panel warned of a further strain on the medical system, urging people to take thorough precautions.

In a press conference after a meeting of the panel, its chief, Takaji Wakita, called for a cautious debate on a proposed review of the government's practice of collecting information on all infection cases.

The data are used to monitor how the virus is spread and to coordinate hospitalizations, said Wakita, head of the National Institute of Infectious Diseases. Some panel members argued that gathering information on all cases is important, he said.

The booster shot of COVID-19 vaccines had a 65 pct efficacy rate against the BA.5 omicron subvariant between two weeks and three months after inoculation, according to a survey of 1,547 people who visited hospitals in July.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

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