Japan Still in COVID-19 Fight 3 Yrs after Discovery of 1st Case


Tokyo, Jan. 15 (Jiji Press)--While Sunday marks three years since Japan confirmed its first COVID-19 case, the Asian nation has faced a series of infection waves due to the relentless emergence of novel coronavirus variants including the most recent omicron.

With experts saying that the mortality rate for omicron is lower than that for seasonal influenza, the Japanese government is currently discussing reviewing the classification of COVID-19 under the infectious disease law.

On Jan. 15, 2020, Japan confirmed its first COVID-19 case, which was announced by the health ministry the following day. Shortly after that, a mass outbreak occurred among passengers and crew members of the Diamond Princess cruise ship, which was quarantined off Japan.

By spring 2021, Japan had three infection waves involving the original coronavirus strain, which was first confirmed in the Chinese city of Wuhan, and variants first detected in Europe. COVID-19 vaccinations started in Japan in February 2021, but the country then faced the fourth wave of infections due to the spread of the alpha variant, which was first discovered in Britain.

The Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics were held between July and September 2021, after a one-year postponement due to the COVID-19 pandemic, despite the fifth COVID-19 wave, caused by the delta variant, first reported in India, sweeping Japan at the time. The delta strain was believed to have a higher risk of causing severe symptoms.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press