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COVID-19 Coronavirus: situation in Japan

mdchachi

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I think that the sense of duty to conform to public health measures may have reduced the number of cases but doesn't explain the relatively low death rate in Japan.
Japan has the 11th largest population among the countries of the world and at the moment the 19th largest number of detected cases, which is a moderately good performance, although less impressive considering the limited amount of testing (less than 0.3 tests per person compared with as many as 21 in Denmark!).
Most of the countries in eastern Asia have had low death rates per population, which suggests that some genetic factor is also involved.
This whole article about the Russian flu is really interesting but this last bit could be the missing puzzle piece that explains this mystery.

Convinced that coronaviruses have probably played a critical role in previous epidemics, a team of researchers form Arizona and Australia parsed the human genome for evidence.

About 20,000 years ago, a coronavirus epidemic left an imprint on the DNA of people living today. The outbreak interacted with human genes in East Asia and left behind a calling card: antiviral modifications in at least 10 different human genes.

The gene fortification only occurred in an East Asian population and probably required a lot of deaths for the human genome to respond with these modifications.

 

mdchachi

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To recall back at the beginning, there was speculation then that perhaps the BCG was having some positive effect (other vaccinations?).

Has anyone heard any more of that?
Some studies showed a possible positive effect. Others showed no effect. So if there is a link, it's pretty weak. See Table 1 here:
Table 1
Summary of epidemiology studies assessing the effect of BCG on COVID-19 in countries with or without nation-wide vaccination policy

Author/year#CountriesConfounders or predictors/dependent variableMethodFindings
Escobar et al. 2020 [13]22 countriesAt least one death per million inhabitants, ≥ 15% of population with an age of 65 years or more, > 60% of population living in urban areas, < 300 inhabitants km2, and an HDI of > 0.7/mean, median, and maximum deaths per millionANOVA, t test, linear regressionBCG could have a protective effect
Wickramasinghe et al. 2020 [39]175 countriesDemographic variables, BCG coverage and policy, age-specific TB incidence, and income level/morbidity and mortality of COVID-19Linear regression analysisImmunity from BCG as a likely explanation for the variation of COVID-19 cases and deaths across countries
Kumar et al. 2020 [40]67 countriesTemperature and BCG vaccination/number of new cases and mortality per dayMultivariable two-level negative binomial regression analysisHigh temperature might not be associated with low transmissibility and BCG vaccination had a low fatality rate of COVID-19
Klinger et al. 2020 [41]55 countriesEconomic, demographic, health-related, and pandemic restriction related quantitative properties/death per million, positively validated cases per million, hospitalization with serious and critical conditions, and recoveredMultivariable regressionBCG immunization coverage, esp. among the most recently vaccinated population, contribute to attenuation of the spread and severity of the COVID-19
Berg et al. 2020 [42]Confirmed cases (134 countries) and deaths (135 countries)Median age, gross domestic product per capita, population density, population size, net migration rate, and various cultural dimensions/the number of cases and deathsLinear mixed effect models with restricted maximum likelihood estimationMandated BCG vaccination can be effective against COVID-19
Joy et al. 2020 [43]160 countriesPopulation density, income group, latitude, and percentage of the total population under age groups 15–64 and above 65 years of each country/the difference in the incidence of COVID-19 casesMeta-regressionBCG is associated with reduced COVID-19 infections if the BCG vaccine coverage > 70%
Miller et al. 2020 [44]60 countriesAge distribution, income per capita, stage of the epidemic of a country, and quality of the medical care country's response to COVID-19/morbidity and mortality for COVID-19Multivariate linear analysesBCG vaccination is correlated with reduced mortality (from May 5th, there is no significant correlation between start year of the vaccination and mortality per million people < 65 years)
Szigeti et al, 2020 [45]The top 68 countries for number of casesBCG vaccination status before 1980, historic colonization status, median age, urban population percentage, population density, tests per million (additional factor for May), and air passengers/deaths per millionMultiple regression modelingNo significant association between BCG vaccination and COVID-19 mortality
Wassenaar et al. 2020 [46]18 countriesCountries that are well into the developing pandemic and compared the BCG vaccination programs in place since the 1950sThere is currently no compelling evidence of protective effect
Hensel et al. [47]74 countriesGDP, median age, percent urban population, hospital beds per 1000 inhabitants, smoking, population density, diabetes and CVD-related deaths, vaccine strain, and testing rates/spread and mortality of CoV-2Univariate and multivariate regressionepidemiological findings do not provide evidence to correlate overall BCG vaccination with the spread and mortality of CoV-2
Matsuura et al. 2020 [48]
17 countries​
Regression discontinuity analysis (on some countries) and difference-in-difference analysis (all countries)The results do not support this hypothesis that BCG can be effective
Arlehamn et al. 2020 [14]51 countries,Human Development
Index of > 0.7, > 60% urban population, < 300
Inhabitants per km2, and > 1 COVID-19 death per million/death report
Pearson correlation coefficientCurrent mortality rates of the COVID-19 do not support a clear negative correlation with BCG
 

Lothor

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Some studies showed a possible positive effect. Others showed no effect. So if there is a link, it's pretty weak. See Table 1 here:
Table 1
Summary of epidemiology studies assessing the effect of BCG on COVID-19 in countries with or without nation-wide vaccination policy

Author/year#CountriesConfounders or predictors/dependent variableMethodFindings
Escobar et al. 2020 [13]22 countriesAt least one death per million inhabitants, ≥ 15% of population with an age of 65 years or more, > 60% of population living in urban areas, < 300 inhabitants km2, and an HDI of > 0.7/mean, median, and maximum deaths per millionANOVA, t test, linear regressionBCG could have a protective effect
Wickramasinghe et al. 2020 [39]175 countriesDemographic variables, BCG coverage and policy, age-specific TB incidence, and income level/morbidity and mortality of COVID-19Linear regression analysisImmunity from BCG as a likely explanation for the variation of COVID-19 cases and deaths across countries
Kumar et al. 2020 [40]67 countriesTemperature and BCG vaccination/number of new cases and mortality per dayMultivariable two-level negative binomial regression analysisHigh temperature might not be associated with low transmissibility and BCG vaccination had a low fatality rate of COVID-19
Klinger et al. 2020 [41]55 countriesEconomic, demographic, health-related, and pandemic restriction related quantitative properties/death per million, positively validated cases per million, hospitalization with serious and critical conditions, and recoveredMultivariable regressionBCG immunization coverage, esp. among the most recently vaccinated population, contribute to attenuation of the spread and severity of the COVID-19
Berg et al. 2020 [42]Confirmed cases (134 countries) and deaths (135 countries)Median age, gross domestic product per capita, population density, population size, net migration rate, and various cultural dimensions/the number of cases and deathsLinear mixed effect models with restricted maximum likelihood estimationMandated BCG vaccination can be effective against COVID-19
Joy et al. 2020 [43]160 countriesPopulation density, income group, latitude, and percentage of the total population under age groups 15–64 and above 65 years of each country/the difference in the incidence of COVID-19 casesMeta-regressionBCG is associated with reduced COVID-19 infections if the BCG vaccine coverage > 70%
Miller et al. 2020 [44]60 countriesAge distribution, income per capita, stage of the epidemic of a country, and quality of the medical care country's response to COVID-19/morbidity and mortality for COVID-19Multivariate linear analysesBCG vaccination is correlated with reduced mortality (from May 5th, there is no significant correlation between start year of the vaccination and mortality per million people < 65 years)
Szigeti et al, 2020 [45]The top 68 countries for number of casesBCG vaccination status before 1980, historic colonization status, median age, urban population percentage, population density, tests per million (additional factor for May), and air passengers/deaths per millionMultiple regression modelingNo significant association between BCG vaccination and COVID-19 mortality
Wassenaar et al. 2020 [46]18 countriesCountries that are well into the developing pandemic and compared the BCG vaccination programs in place since the 1950sThere is currently no compelling evidence of protective effect
Hensel et al. [47]74 countriesGDP, median age, percent urban population, hospital beds per 1000 inhabitants, smoking, population density, diabetes and CVD-related deaths, vaccine strain, and testing rates/spread and mortality of CoV-2Univariate and multivariate regressionepidemiological findings do not provide evidence to correlate overall BCG vaccination with the spread and mortality of CoV-2
Matsuura et al. 2020 [48]
17 countries​
Regression discontinuity analysis (on some countries) and difference-in-difference analysis (all countries)The results do not support this hypothesis that BCG can be effective
Arlehamn et al. 2020 [14]51 countries,Human Development
Index of > 0.7, > 60% urban population, < 300
Inhabitants per km2, and > 1 COVID-19 death per million/death report
Pearson correlation coefficientCurrent mortality rates of the COVID-19 do not support a clear negative correlation with BCG
Thanks for posting that. My father is really into this BCG/low COVID-19 theory, so I sent him the table.
 

thomas

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Here are the weekly updates (09-15 Feb 2022). I wasn't able to find any statistics on the booster shots.


Nationwide infections:

09/02 (Wed)10/02 (Thu)11/02 (Fri)12/02 (Sat)13/02 (Son)14/02 (Mon)15/02 (Tue)
97,833 (+ 2,903)
99,695 (- 4,096)
98,370 (+ 2,917)
68,470 (- 32,479)
77,450 (- 11,695)
60,142 (- 7,897)
84,183 (- 7,895)

Nationwide deaths:

09/02 (Wed)10/02 (Thu)11/02 (Fri)12/02 (Sat)13/02 (Son)14/02 (Mon)15/02 (Tue)
162 (+ 82)
164 (+ 74)
150 (+ 49)
145 (+ 29)
137 (+ 70)
148 (+ 35
236 (+ 77)

Nationwide Seriously Ill:

09/02 (Wed)10/02 (Thu)11/02 (Fri)12/02 (Sat)13/02 (Son)14/02 (Mon)15/02 (Tue)
1,212 (+ 326)
1,270 (+ 359)
1,340 (+ 298)
1,352 (+ 253)
1,366 (+ 232)
1,393 (+ 250)
1,403 (+ 262)

SELECTED PREFECTURES:

Tokyo:


09/02 (Wed)10/02 (Thu)11/02 (Fri)12/02 (Sat)13/02 (Son)14/02 (Mon)15/02 (Tue)
18,287 (- 3,289)
18,891 (- 1,788)
18,660 (- 1,138)
11,765 (- 9,357)
13,074 (- 4,452)
10,334 (- 1,877)
15,525 - 1,588)

Okinawa:

09/02 (Wed)10/02 (Thu)11/02 (Fri)12/02 (Sat)13/02 (Son)14/02 (Mon)15/02 (Tue)
694 (- 132)
699 (- 2)
643 (- 146)
334 (- 395)
549 (- 46)
286 (- 30)
721 (+ 39)

Osaka:

09/02 (Wed)10/02 (Thu)11/02 (Fri)12/02 (Sat)13/02 (Son)14/02 (Mon)15/02 (Tue)
15,264 (+ 4,093)
12,828 (- 6,787)
15,302 (+ 4,662)
6,746 (- 4,172)
12,574 (+ 19)
7,997 (- 311)
12,597 (+ 1,188)

Hokkaido:

09/02 (Wed)10/02 (Thu)11/02 (Fri)12/02 (Sat)13/02 (Son)14/02 (Mon)15/02 (Tue)
3,606 (+ 19)
4,098 (+ 310)
3,683 (+ 140)
3,280 (- 720)
2,692 (- 772)
2,252 (- 435)
2,282 (- 597)


Vaccinations as of 15 February 2022:

215.9m (+ 4.9m); fully vaccinated: 100.0m (+ 0.1m) = 79.36% of population

 

Lothor

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The last figure I saw for booster shots is 11% of the adult population, but anecdotally (groups for non-Japanese on Facebook, comments from an older friend), steady progress is being made in the rollout of booster shots. Japan made rapid progress after a slow start last year, so I'm sure they'll do so again with the booster shots.
 

thomas

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NHK reported that 20% of those eligible had got their boosters; however, that was three weeks ago:


Also, I wonder what constitutes "fully vaccinated" these days? Two shots or two shots plus booster?
 

thomas

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A Japanese study suggests that booster shots are effective against Omicron: the National Institute of Infectious Diseases reported the preliminary results of its study show an 81 percent efficacy rate in preventing symptomatic COVID-19.


Has anyone got their booster shots in Japan yet?


Looking at the daily number of deaths in Japan, it is hard to maintain that Omicron is mild: 236 on Tuesday, 230 on Wednesday, and 269 on Thursday.

 

thomas

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Despite the ongoing sixth wave of infections, Japan is still facing shortages of antigen and PCR tests.

As Japan's fifth wave subsided in late September, the government allowed pharmacies to start selling antigen test kits to ordinary residents. Demand for tests has risen further since December, when local governments began offering free PCR and antigen tests to people without symptoms concerned about their health. Long lines formed at pharmacies and hospitals across the country last month as daily COVID-19 cases surged, which ultimately led the health ministry to prioritize antigen kit shipments to health care facilities and local governments. The daily number of rapid antigen tests that were administered rose to 40,420 on average in the week ending Jan. 30, more than five times the figure four weeks earlier, health ministry data shows.



The Japanese government announced that the Covid-19 quasi-state of emergency measures would be extended in 17 prefectures. They were set to expire Sunday in 16 of the 17 prefectures and on Feb. 27 in Wakayama in western Japan. Five prefectures (Yamagata, Shimane, Yamaguchi, Oita and Okinawa) will end the quasi-state of emergency.

 

thomas

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A panel of experts advising the health ministry on the pandemic reported the results of an interim study on cross vaccinations: Moderna was found to have the best results, with the highest antibody level but side effects more prevalent than in other vaccines.

While about 70 percent of those whose third shot was a Moderna vaccine developed fevers in excess of 37.5 degrees, the antibody level, which indicates whether infections can be prevented, was higher as well. The study analyzed symptoms of 437 medical care professionals for a one-week period after receiving the Moderna booster. The booster dose was half of that given for the first two jabs. A comparison was made with the 2,626 people who received three Pfizer jabs. It found that 68 percent of those who received the Moderna booster developed a fever, but the figure was only 39.8 percent for those who got the Pfizer jab. Younger people developed fevers to a greater extent. The study found that 81.6 percent of those in their 20s who received the Moderna booster developed a fever. This compared with 46.7 percent of those aged 60 and older who developed a fever. The Moderna booster also led to higher percentages of other symptoms. For example, 93.8 percent felt pain in the upper arm area where the jab was administered, compared to 91.6 percent who received a Pfizer booster. Lethargy was higher at 78 percent, compared to 69.1 percent for the Pfizer booster, while headaches affected 69.6 percent of patients getting the Moderna booster. Only 55 percent of patients getting a Pfizer shot developed headaches.



 

thomas

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The weekly updates (16-22 Feb 2022):


Nationwide infections:

16/02 (Wed)17/02 (Thu)18/02 (Fri)19/02 (Sat)20/02 (Son)21/02 (Mon)22/02 (Tue)
91,051 (- 6,782)
95,208 (- 4,487)
87,723 (- 10,647)
81,621 (+ 13,151)
71,488 (- 5,962)
51,987 (- 8,155)
69,523 (- 14,660)

Nationwide deaths:

16/02 (Wed)17/02 (Thu)18/02 (Fri)19/02 (Sat)20/02 (Son)21/02 (Mon)22/02 (Tue)
230 (+ 68)
269 (+ 105)
211 (+ 61)
219 (+ 74)
158 (+ 19)
173 (+ 25
319 (+ 83)

Nationwide Seriously Ill:

16/02 (Wed)17/02 (Thu)18/02 (Fri)19/02 (Sat)20/02 (Son)21/02 (Mon)22/02 (Tue)
1,444 (+ 232)
n/a​
1,482 (+ 142)
1,480 (+ 128)
1,477 (+ 111)
n/a​
1,504 (+ 99)

SELECTED PREFECTURES:

Tokyo:


16/02 (Wed)17/02 (Thu)18/02 (Fri)19/02 (Sat)20/02 (Son)21/02 (Mon)22/02 (Tue)
17,864 (- 956)
17,864 (- 1,027)
16,129 (- 2,531)
13,516 (+ 1,751)
12,935 (- 139)
8,805 (- 1,529)
11,443 (- 4,082)

Okinawa:

16/02 (Wed)17/02 (Thu)18/02 (Fri)19/02 (Sat)20/02 (Son)21/02 (Mon)22/02 (Tue)
660 (- 34)
702 (+ 3)
681 (+ 38)
n/a​
527 (- 22)
315 (+ 29)
674 (- 47)

Osaka:

16/02 (Wed)17/02 (Thu)18/02 (Fri)19/02 (Sat)20/02 (Son)21/02 (Mon)22/02 (Tue)
12,467 (- 2,797)
13,912 (+ 1,084)
11,505 (- 3,797)
12,451 (+ 5,828)
8,400 (- 4,174)
4,702 (- 3,295)
10,939 (- 1,658)

Hokkaido:

16/02 (Wed)17/02 (Thu)18/02 (Fri)19/02 (Sat)20/02 (Son)21/02 (Mon)22/02 (Tue)
2,815 (- 791)
3,628 (- 470)
2,656 (- 1,027)
2,797 (- 483)
2,334 (- 358)
1,924 (- 328)
2,041 (- 241)


Vaccinations as of 20 February 2022:

221.0m (+ 5.1m); fully vaccinated: 100.0m = 79.6% of population

 

musicisgood

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Hey Thomas
really appreciate your updates
don't know where you get them
or how you post the pictures of them

but something has got to break on the death toll
japan death rate over rides it birth rate

lets hope all this crap goes away very soon
 

thomas

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Japan said on Thursday that international travelers showing proof of a COVID-19 vaccination with the Johnson & Johnson shot would be allowed into the country and would be eligible for a shorter time in quarantine when border controls are eased next month. The other approved vaccines on a list that the foreign ministry released on Thursday are those developed by Pfizer Inc, Moderna Inc, and AstraZeneca PLC. Vaccines developed by Chinese and Russian makers are not included.


 

thomas

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Lest we forget that we're still in the middle of a pandemic: the weekly numbers (23 Feb - 1 March 2022):


Nationwide infections:

23/02 (Wed)24/02 (Thu)25/02 (Fri)26/02 (Sat)27/02 (Son)28/02 (Mon)01/03 (Tue)
80,364 (- 10,687)
61,259 (- 33,949)
65,633 (- 22,090)
72,170 (- 9,451)
63,703 (- 7,785)
51,388 (- 599)
65,434 (- 4,089)

Nationwide deaths:

23/02 (Wed)24/02 (Thu)25/02 (Fri)26/02 (Sat)27/02 (Son)28/02 (Mon)01/03 (Tue)
216 (- 14)
206 (- 63)
278 (+ 67)
256 (+ 37)
143 (- 15)
198 (+ 25)
236 (- 83)

Nationwide Seriously Ill:

23/02 (Wed)24/02 (Thu)25/02 (Fri)26/02 (Sat)27/02 (Son)28/02 (Mon)01/03 (Tue)
1,489 (+ 45)
1,474​
1,503 (+ 21)
1,507 (+ 27)
1,482 (+ 5)
1,461​
1,456 (- 48)

SELECTED PREFECTURES:

Tokyo:


23/02 (Wed)24/02 (Thu)25/02 (Fri)26/02 (Sat)27/02 (Son)28/02 (Mon)01/03 (Tue)
14,567 (- 3,297)
10,169 (- 7,695)
11,125 (- 5,004)
11,562 (- 1,954)
10,321 (- 2,614)
9,632 (+ 827)
11,813 (+ 370)

Osaka:

23/02 (Wed)24/02 (Thu)25/02 (Fri)26/02 (Sat)27/02 (Son)28/02 (Mon)01/03 (Tue)
11,472 (- 995)
5,657 (- 8,255)
8,534 (- 2,971)
10,407 (- 2,044)
6,707 (- 1,693)
4,631 (- 71)
8,966 (- 1,973)

Kanagawa:

23/02 (Wed)24/02 (Thu)25/02 (Fri)26/02 (Sat)27/02 (Son)28/02 (Mon)01/03 (Tue)
5,996​
6,485​
6,724​
5,742​
5,697​
6,404​
6,103​


Vaccinations as of 1 March 2022:

228.0m (+ 7m); fully vaccinated: 100.0m = 79.7% of population

 

thomas

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The weekly updates (02-08 Mar 2022):


Nationwide infections:

02/03 (Wed)03/03 (Thu)04/03 (Fri)05/03 (Sat)06/03 (Son)07/03 (Mon)08/03 (Tue)
72,646 (- 7,718)
70,348 (+ 9,387)
63,746 (- 1,887)
63,673 (- 8,497)
53,969 (- 9,734)
37,083 (- 14,305)
54,024 (- 11,410)

Nationwide deaths:

02/03 (Wed)03/03 (Thu)04/03 (Fri)05/03 (Sat)06/03 (Son)07/03 (Mon)08/03 (Tue)
235 (+ 19)
255 (+ 49)
231 (- 47)
184 (- 72)
132 (- 11)
120 (- 78)
246 (+ 10)

Nationwide Seriously Ill:

02/03 (Wed)03/03 (Thu)04/03 (Fri)05/03 (Sat)06/03 (Son)07/03 (Mon)08/03 (Tue)
1,452 (- 37)
1,418 (- 56)
1,419 (- 84)
1,399 (- 108)
1,362 (- 120)
1,354 (- 107)
1,348 (- 108)

SELECTED PREFECTURES:

Tokyo:


02/03 (Wed)03/03 (Thu)04/03 (Fri)05/03 (Sat)06/03 (Son)07/03 (Mon)08/03 (Tue)
12,693 (- 1,874)
12,251 (+ 2,082)
10,517 (- 608)
10,806 (- 756)
9,289 (- 1,032)
5,374 (- 4,258)
8,925 (- 2,888)

Osaka:

02/03 (Wed)03/03 (Thu)04/03 (Fri)05/03 (Sat)06/03 (Son)07/03 (Mon)08/03 (Tue)
9,219 (- 2,253)
7,749 (+ 2,092)
6,696 (- 1,838)
7,136 (- 3,271)
5,432 (- 1,275)
2,037 (- 2,594)
6,509 (- 2,457)

Kanagawa:

02/03 (Wed)03/03 (Thu)04/03 (Fri)05/03 (Sat)06/03 (Son)07/03 (Mon)08/03 (Tue)
6,205 (+ 209)
7,192 (+ 707)
6,470 (- 254)
6,198 (+ 456)
5,393 (- 304)
5,622 (- 782)
4,658 (- 1,445)


Vaccinations as of 7 March 2022:

235.0m (+ 7m); fully vaccinated: 100.0m = 79.7% of population

 

thomas

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The weekly updates (09-15 Mar 2022):


Nationwide infections:

09/03 (Wed)10/03 (Thu)11/03 (Fri)12/03 (Sat)13/03 (Son)14/03 (Mon)15/03 (Tue)
63,742 (- 8,904)
61,155 (- 9,193)
55,582 (- 8,164)
55,328 (- 8,345)
50,949 (- 3,020)
32,471 (- 4,612)
50,781 (- 3,243)

Nationwide deaths:

09/03 (Wed)10/03 (Thu)11/03 (Fri)12/03 (Sat)13/03 (Son)14/03 (Mon)15/03 (Tue)
55 (- 180)
188 (- 67)
209 (- 22)
141 (- 43)
90 (- 42)
116 (- 4)
188 (- 58)

Nationwide Seriously Ill:

09/03 (Wed)10/03 (Thu)11/03 (Fri)12/03 (Sat)13/03 (Son)14/03 (Mon)15/03 (Tue)
1,321 (- 131)
1,322 (- 96)
1,252 (- 167)
1,204 (- 195)
1,175 (- 187)
1,175 (- 179)
1,170 (- 178)

SELECTED PREFECTURES:

Tokyo:


09/03 (Wed)10/03 (Thu)11/03 (Fri)12/03 (Sat)13/03 (Son)14/03 (Mon)15/03 (Tue)
10,823 (- 1,870)
10,080 (- 1,451)
8,464 (- 2,053)
9,164 (- 1,642)
8,131 (- 1,158)
4,836 (- 538)
7,836 (- 1,089)

Osaka:

09/03 (Wed)10/03 (Thu)11/03 (Fri)12/03 (Sat)13/03 (Son)14/03 (Mon)15/03 (Tue)
7,080 (- 2,139)
6,322 (- 1,427)
4,959 (- 1,737)
5,579 (- 1,557)
4,897 (- 535)
1,467 (- 570)
5,980 (- 529)

Kanagawa:

09/03 (Wed)10/03 (Thu)11/03 (Fri)12/03 (Sat)13/03 (Son)14/03 (Mon)15/03 (Tue)
5,748 (- 457)
6,041 (- 1,151)
5,617 (- 853)
4,771 (- 1,427)
6,104 (+ 711)
4,205 (- 1,417)
6,573 (+ 1,915)


Vaccinations as of 15 March 2022:

242.0m (+ 7m); fully vaccinated: 100.0m = 79.8% of population

 

thomas

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Tokyo and 17 prefectures (Aichi, Aomori, Chiba, Gifu, Gunma, Hokkaido, Hyogo, Ibaraki, Ishikawa, Kagawa, Kanagawa, Kyoto, Kumamoto, Osaka, Saitama, Shizuoka, and Tochigi) will be lifting COVID-19 pre-emergency measures on 21 March.

Although the occupancy rates of hospital beds for COVID-19 patients exceeded 50 percent in Chiba, Aichi and other prefectures on March 14, the number of new COVID-19 cases is decreasing there. Therefore, the government deems it appropriate to end the pre-emergency measures in those prefectures. The Tokyo metropolitan government on March 15 submitted a written request to the central government not to extend the pre-emergency measures in the capital. The document said the weekly daily average of new COVID-19 cases in Tokyo continues to fall from the previous week, and the usage rate of hospital beds for COVID-19 patients and those with serious symptoms are both below 50 percent.



According to data of the Cabinet Secretariat, 31.9% of Japanese residents have received a booster so far, topping the ratio in the U.S. — about 29%. Municipalities are now preparing to inoculate millions of children aged 12 to 17.



Experts are warning that the Omicron BA.2 subvariant could soon take the place of the variant that fueled the sixth wave of infections in Japan.

Other mutant strains of the novel coronavirus started to rapidly take over their predecessors when the rates exceeded 10 percent. With that in mind, Mitsuo Kaku, chairman of the expert board at the Tokyo Center for Infectious Disease Control and Prevention (Tokyo iCDC), warned that BA.2 could soon possibly take the place of Omicron BA.1. He also told the meeting that people who have been infected with BA.1 could also catch BA.2



However, anti-viral drugs have been found effective against Omicron BA.2:

A group of researchers says a laboratory test shows that three anti-viral drugs for COVID-19 treatment are effective against the BA.2 Omicron subvariant. The BA.2 subvariant is said to be more transmissible than the original Omicron variant, and has been spreading in Japan and other countries. The group led by Kawaoka Yoshihiro, project professor at the University of Tokyo's Institute of Medical Science, published its findings in the New England Journal of Medicine. The researchers used a number of drugs on cultured monkey cells infected with the BA.2 subvariant. They confirmed that the drugs molnupiravir, nirmatrelvir and remdesivir were effective against the subvariant. But they said they had to increase the concentration of the drugs about three times to achieve the same level of effectiveness they had with an early strain.

 

Lothor

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Although I've got some misgivings with 'business as usual' during a pandemic, these quasi state of emergencies have become farcical, with restaurants, bars and entertainment centres being affected disproportionately while everyone else carries on as normal, so it's probably best to abandon them.
 

thomas

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The weekly updates (16 - 22 March 2022):


Nationwide infections:

16/03 (Wed)17/03 (Thu)18/03 (Fri)19/03 (Sat)20/03 (Son)21/03 (Mon)22/03 (Tue)
57,922 (- 5,820)
53,587 (- 7,568)
49,210 (- 6,372)
44,711 (- 10,617)
39,659 (- 11,290)
27,701 (- 4,770)
20,231 (- 30,550)

Nationwide deaths:

16/03 (Wed)17/03 (Thu)18/03 (Fri)19/03 (Sat)20/03 (Son)21/03 (Mon)22/03 (Tue)
163 (+ 108)
171 (- 17)
156 (- 53)
104 (- 37)
66 (- 24)
58 (- 58)
71 (- 117)

Nationwide Seriously Ill:

16/03 (Wed)17/03 (Thu)18/03 (Fri)19/03 (Sat)20/03 (Son)21/03 (Mon)22/03 (Tue)
1,140 (- 181)
1,090 (- 232)
991 (- 261)
983 (- 221)
955 (- 220)
951 (- 224)
937 (- 233)

SELECTED PREFECTURES:

Tokyo:


16/03 (Wed)17/03 (Thu)18/03 (Fri)19/03 (Sat)20/03 (Son)21/03 (Mon)22/03 (Tue)
10,221 (- 602)
8,461 (- 1,619)
7,825 (- 639)
7,444 (- 1,720)
6,502 (- 1,629)
3,855 (- 981)
3,533 (- 4,202)

Osaka:

16/03 (Wed)17/03 (Thu)18/03 (Fri)19/03 (Sat)20/03 (Son)21/03 (Mon)22/03 (Tue)
5,739 (- 1,341)
5,009 (- 1,313)
3,865 (- 1,094)
3,639 (- 1,940)
2,908 (- 1,989)
1,638 (+ 171)
998 (- 4,982)

Kanagawa:

16/03 (Wed)17/03 (Thu)18/03 (Fri)19/03 (Sat)20/03 (Son)21/03 (Mon)22/03 (Tue)
4,510 (- 1,238)
5,268 (- 773)
5,088 (- 529)
4,271 (- 500)
4,371 (- 1,733)
3,856 (- 349)
2,351 (- 4,222)


Vaccinations as of 21 March 2022:

248.0m (+ 6m); fully vaccinated: 101.0m (+ 1m) = 79.9% of population

 

musicisgood

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The weekly updates (16 - 22 March 2022):


Nationwide infections:

16/03 (Wed)17/03 (Thu)18/03 (Fri)19/03 (Sat)20/03 (Son)21/03 (Mon)22/03 (Tue)
57,922 (- 5,820)
53,587 (- 7,568)
49,210 (- 6,372)
44,711 (- 10,617)
39,659 (- 11,290)
27,701 (- 4,770)
20,231 (- 30,550)

Nationwide deaths:

16/03 (Wed)17/03 (Thu)18/03 (Fri)19/03 (Sat)20/03 (Son)21/03 (Mon)22/03 (Tue)
163 (+ 108)
171 (- 17)
156 (- 53)
104 (- 37)
66 (- 24)
58 (- 58)
71 (- 117)

Nationwide Seriously Ill:

16/03 (Wed)17/03 (Thu)18/03 (Fri)19/03 (Sat)20/03 (Son)21/03 (Mon)22/03 (Tue)
1,140 (- 181)
1,090 (- 232)
991 (- 261)
983 (- 221)
955 (- 220)
951 (- 224)
937 (- 233)

SELECTED PREFECTURES:

Tokyo:


16/03 (Wed)17/03 (Thu)18/03 (Fri)19/03 (Sat)20/03 (Son)21/03 (Mon)22/03 (Tue)
10,221 (- 602)
8,461 (- 1,619)
7,825 (- 639)
7,444 (- 1,720)
6,502 (- 1,629)
3,855 (- 981)
3,533 (- 4,202)

Osaka:

16/03 (Wed)17/03 (Thu)18/03 (Fri)19/03 (Sat)20/03 (Son)21/03 (Mon)22/03 (Tue)
5,739 (- 1,341)
5,009 (- 1,313)
3,865 (- 1,094)
3,639 (- 1,940)
2,908 (- 1,989)
1,638 (+ 171)
998 (- 4,982)

Kanagawa:

16/03 (Wed)17/03 (Thu)18/03 (Fri)19/03 (Sat)20/03 (Son)21/03 (Mon)22/03 (Tue)
4,510 (- 1,238)
5,268 (- 773)
5,088 (- 529)
4,271 (- 500)
4,371 (- 1,733)
3,856 (- 349)
2,351 (- 4,222)


Vaccinations as of 21 March 2022:

248.0m (+ 6m); fully vaccinated: 101.0m (+ 1m) = 79.9% of population

Are deaths rates higher per day then a year ago ?
 

johnnyG

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I know this is 'in Japan', but this article give some Korea numbers:

But the death toll nearly doubled in just about six weeks, with daily fatalities peaking at 429 last Friday, fuelling demand for funeral arrangements.

That's higher than here--more deaths--for a smaller population. I hope similar levels are not in Japan's future.

The article is focused more on the backups at crematoria.

 

thomas

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I have just got my booster shot today. Meanwhile, the Japanese government is starting to prepare the fourth round of vaccination:

Fourth doses of COVID-19 vaccines are recommended in Israel and the U.K., with recipients limited to medical staff and individuals at high risk of developing severe symptoms. The effectiveness of third shots against the highly contagious omicron variant of the coronavirus has been found to wane over time. In the meeting, subcommittee members agreed with the health ministry's proposal to prepare for the administration of fourth shots, aimed at preventing the development of the disease or severe symptoms, based on overseas data on their effectiveness and safety. Under the proposal, the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are expected to be used for fourth doses. The administration of fourth shots could start as early as in May, sources familiar with the matter said.


 
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