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Japan considers downgrading Covid-19 to similar degree as seasonal flu | CNN



Tokyo
CNN
 — 

Japan will contemplate downgrading Covid-19 to the identical class as seasonal influenza this spring, Prime Minister Fumio Kishida introduced Friday.

Kishida stated he had instructed Health Ministry officers to debate the transfer and his administration would additionally overview guidelines on face masks and different pandemic measures.

“In order to additional advance the efforts of ‘dwelling with Corona’ and restore Japan to a state of normalcy, we are going to transition the varied insurance policies and measures thus far in phases,” Kishida stated.

While each day Covid-19 circumstances in Japan have declined in current weeks, the nation nonetheless faces round 100,000 new infections a day.

Covid-19 is categorized as a Class 2 illness, the identical standing as tuberculosis and avian influenza, in line with Japan’s Health Ministry. Officials will now focus on reclassifying it to Class 5 – the bottom rank, which incorporates seasonal flu.

Japan absolutely reopened its borders to abroad guests final October after greater than two years of pandemic restrictions, ending one of many world’s strictest border controls.

Influenza – or the frequent flu – and Covid-19 are each contagious respiratory sicknesses with simlar signs, however they’re brought on by totally different viruses and require testing to substantiate a prognosis, the United States’ Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says on its web site.

According to the CDC, the danger of demise or hospitalization from Covid-19 is greatly reduced for most individuals attributable to excessive ranges of vaccination and inhabitants immunity from earlier infections.

However, the World Health Organization nonetheless lists the coronavirus outbreak as a pandemic, and reiterated in its latest update a suggestion for folks to put on masks following current publicity or shut contact with Covid-19, and for “anybody in a crowded, enclosed, or poorly ventilated house” to do the identical.

WHO director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus known as on governments last week to proceed sharing the sequencing information of the coronavirus, because it remained important to detect and observe the emergence and unfold of latest variants.

“It’s comprehensible that nations can’t keep the identical ranges of testing and sequencing they’d through the Omicron peak. At the identical time, the world can’t shut its eyes and hope this virus will go away. It received’t,” he stated.

The information got here as South Korea introduced it is going to carry its masks mandate for many indoor areas, with exceptions for public transport and well being amenities. The adjustments will take impact on January 30, South Korean Prime Minister Han Duck-soo stated Friday.

The measure shall be lifted after the Lunar New Year vacation, when a lot of persons are anticipated to journey, the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency (KDCA) stated.

New Covid-19 circumstances, extreme circumstances and associated deaths are all declining and the nation’s medical response capability stays secure, KDCA added.

The company has strongly advisable folks put on masks if they’ve Covid-19 associated signs, belong to a high-risk group, have been involved not too long ago with a optimistic case, or are in a crowded house.

Masks will still be required on public transport and in health facilities after South Korea eases its indoor mask mandate on January 30, 2023.

The prime minister stated the easing of the mandate might end in a short lived surge of latest circumstances and urged well being authorities to remain vigilant.

South Korea has scrapped most of its pandemic restrictions and eased its outside masks mandate in May 2022. It nonetheless requires individuals who check optimistic to endure seven days of dwelling isolation.

The nation has additionally restricted journey from mainland China and carried out testing necessities for folks arriving from China, Hong Kong and Macau following Beijing’s easing of Covid restrictions.

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