Japan hits record high in Covid-19 cases

Japan’s number of Covid-19 infections climbed to a new record yesterday. While Japan’s previous peak was 104,169 cases in February, yesterday, there were 110,600 cases. In Tokyo, 18,919 new cases were confirmed. The city’s metropolitan government raised its Covid alert to the highest of four levels.

Most cases are mild and don’t require hospital treatment. As the country moves on to its seventh Covid-19 wave due to the BA.5 sub-variant, deaths and severe cases have remained low. Still, Japan’s government is expanding limits on people who can receive fourth vaccine shots. Most people in the country have received three shots.

Prime Minister Fumio Kishida told the press on July 14 that he wasn’t planning to bring back movement restrictions, or strengthen border controls at that point. Kishida’s tight pandemic restrictions have won him support in the past. This included maintaining strict border controls even after other developed countries had opened up. But now that Japan’s economy is struggling, Kishida might be less keen to impose restrictions once more.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) warned last week that the Covid pandemic is far from finished. Subvarients of Omicron like BA.4 and BA.5 have emerged and spread the once-waning virus as governments, and people are sick of restrictions and are relaxing precautions. The head of the WHO said…

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“Surveillance has reduced significantly – including testing and sequencing – making it increasingly difficult to assess the impact of variants on transmission, disease characteristics, and the effectiveness of counter-measures.”

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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Tara Abhasakun

A Thai-American dual citizen, Tara has reported news and spoken on a number of human rights and cultural news issues in Thailand. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in history from The College of Wooster. She interned at Southeast Asia Globe, and has written for a number of outlets. Tara reports on a range of Thailand news issues.

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