Japan’s Prime Minister Fumio Kishida announced Friday that he had instructed his cabinet to reclassify COVID-19, placing it in the same category as seasonal flu, rubella and chickenpox in the spring.
“Today, we held a press conference on the discussion of revising the new coronavirus epidemic to category 5,” Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said on Friday.
Today, we held a press conference on the discussion of revising the novel coronavirus pandemic to category 5.
☞ Here is the full text https://t.co/uEs5c6Chgg https://t.co/WCuL6ArXf1
— Fumio Kishida (@kishida230) January 20, 2023
“To further advance efforts to ‘live with the corona’ and restore Japan to normalcy, we will gradually transform the various policies and measures up to now,” Kishida said.
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In Japan, Covid-19 is currently listed as “Category 2: Very Dangerous” along with tuberculosis, avian flu and diphtheria.
“With COVID-19 currently classified as “equivalent to Category 2”, hospitals and clinics are required to report the names of infected patients and details of their diagnosis before making hospitalization recommendations. The number of people infected in Japan’s seventh coronavirus wave has increased the administrative burden on the medical frontline, a regional That has prompted medical associations and the National Governors Association to repeatedly call for a review of the system,” Nippon.com reported.
Experts have proposed reclassifying COVID-19 as “Category 5: Diseases to prevent outbreaks and spread,” similar to seasonal flu, restricting reporting to only those at risk of developing severe symptoms or restricting data collection to patients diagnosed at designated medical facilities.
More from the Japanese Prime Minister’s Office:
Additionally, regarding the vaccine, regardless of the typology review we undertake based on the Preventive Vaccination Law. First, I would like to ask as many people as possible to get vaccinated against the vaccines currently in force. We are considering how future vaccinations should be and we will come to a conclusion. Minister of Health, Labor and Welfare and Minister Goto will explain the details again. This was a definite result in the previous meeting.
(Identification of current situation of new coronavirus infections and impact on people’s lives revised to category 5)
First the minister in charge explains the details. Regarding the eighth wave, as I said, we are currently doing our best to overcome this eighth wave and we will continue to do our best. On top of that, we are moving forward with the transition with COVID-19, but to restore Japan to normal times, we need to think about specific responses, the responses I mentioned earlier. In principle, we have confirmed that we will review the Classification of Infectious Diseases Control Act this spring and proceed with coordination to implement it. Regarding the meaning of schedule, we will continue things with the meaning of schedule that I just mentioned. I would like Minister Kato and Minister Goto to explain the details in the future.
(Regarding Revision Time for Category 5)
I confirmed that the time is spring. As for the specific date, it is also related to the preparations at the site, so I would like to continue making adjustments and confirm the date as soon as possible. The Infectious Diseases Subcommittee will also be held next week. I want to check it out.
(Reasons for taking decisions at this time)
It’s basically like I said before. However, this discussion has been going on for the past one year and there have been discussions that a decision should be taken as soon as possible. And last week, volunteer experts showed us their thoughts on the position of the new corona pandemic law. Based on this, I have today confirmed the timetable for revising the classification under the Communicable Diseases Act in principle this spring.