Japan to Equate the Coronavirus With a Common Flu, Lowers Containment Measures
The Prime Minister of Japan, Fumio Kishida, announced Friday the decision of the Japanese Government to lower the classification of the coronavirus to that of a common flu as of May 8, thus reducing containment measures against the disease.
Kishida told the media after a meeting of his Cabinet today that, “after a meeting with the Ministry of Health, we are going to lower the classification of the coronavirus from May 8, since we need about three months for the procedures.”
Until now, the coronavirus was part of “Group 2” of diseases, which allowed for strict measures and movement restrictions to reduce cases. The new regulations now makes it part of “Group 5”, which equates the disease to other seasonal diseases such as the flu.
The Japanese Executive will be reviewing the current quarantine system for positive cases and close contacts, and financial assistance like masks and vaccine schedules. Post transition, medical expenses for hospitalization and tests may have to be borne by the patient partially, while visitors may have to present a vaccination certificate.
The government is moving forward to recover normalcy and carry it out safely,” Kishida said. Japan, with 125 million inhabitants, has registered 32.3 million infections since the start of the pandemic and just over 66,000 deaths from the virus. It has been registering between 106,000 and 70,000 new cases per day in the last week.