TOKYO, Nov. 8 (Reuters) – Japan recorded no daily deaths from COVID-19 for the first time in more than a year on Sunday, local media reported.
For Sunday, there had not been a day without a COVID-19 death since August 2, 2020, according to a count by national broadcaster NHK.
COVID-19 cases and deaths have dropped dramatically across Japan as vaccinations have increased to cover more than 70% of the population.
New daily infections peaked at more than 25,000 during an August surge fueled by the contagious Delta strain. The country has had more than 18,000 deaths from the disease over the course of the pandemic.
To avoid a potential rebound this winter, the government plans to start booster vaccinations next month and is working on pill-based treatments for milder cases to reduce hospitalizations.
Shigeru Omi, the country’s top health adviser, outlined on Monday a new scale for measuring the severity of coronavirus infections and a tool for predicting the hospital beds that may be needed in a new wave.
“We have learned in the past two years that we need to take strong, rapid and intensive measures,” Omi told reporters.
Reporting by Rocky Swift; adaptation by Richard Pullin and Giles Elgood
Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.