Japan Covid deaths reach 70,000
Michiyo Tanabe and Kanako Mita
Modern Tokyo Times
The coronavirus (Covid-19) death toll in Japan surpassed 70,000. This figure seemed most unlikely until Prime Minister Fumio Kishida took office in early October 2021.
Under the former leaders – Shinzo Abe and Yoshihide Suga – the combined death toll was 17,730. Accordingly, despite the vaccine program being available at all times under Kishida, the death toll is over 52,500.
Unlike Abe’s period and the early period under Suga, the vaccine program didn’t exist. However, Abe and Suga tried to put breaks on the coronavirus when infections were high. Yet, Kishida is overtly focused on the economic angle. Therefore, the downlisting of the classification of the coronavirus in May this year will put it on par with the common flu virus.
It is feared that the elderly population will continue to witness deaths from the coronavirus in the immediate future. Indeed, while many people welcome “the return to normal” – travel to face mask regulations being lifted and much more; the fear is the sizeable elderly population will be prone to ongoing infections from broader society at a higher level.
The BBC reports, “Elderly people who are getting infected in nursing homes or in community clusters are not receiving prompt treatment, says epidemiologist Kenji Shibuya, a director at the Foundation for Tokyo Policy Research.”
Kyodo News reports, “Japan has decided to downgrade the legal status of the novel coronavirus in May to the same category as seasonal influenza and other common infectious diseases, a major shift that will lead to a normalization of social and economic activities in the country.”
Ironically, the easing of restrictions is being implemented by Kishida at a time of the highest number of deaths since the coronavirus entered Japan in January 2020. Therefore, between December 2022 and January 2023, more people died from the coronavirus in Japan than in the entire period under Abe and Suga.
Care workers are worried at nursing homes about the declassification of the coronavirus because local authorities are obliged to provide support under the current classification system. However, this is set to change by the demands of the Kishida administration.
https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/ World coronavirus statistics
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