Over 16,000 COVID-19 Deaths Reported in Japan Despite Downgraded Risk (May 2023-Nov 2023)

Tokyo, Japan – Despite downgrading COVID-19 to a lower-risk category in May 2023, Japan saw a significant number of deaths attributed to the virus between May and November of last year. According to government data, over 16,000 people died from COVID-19 complications during this period, highlighting the continued threat posed by the virus.

Magazine

This news comes as life in Japan has begun to return to normal, with social and economic activities resuming after the downgrading of COVID-19. However, health experts warn against complacency. The high death toll during a period of eased restrictions underscores the need for continued vigilance.

Magazine

“While the situation has improved, it’s crucial to remember that COVID-19 can still be deadly,” says a health official interviewed by [major Japanese news outlet]. “We urge everyone to remain cautious and prioritise measures like vaccination, especially for high-risk individuals.”

The report also highlights the significant disparity between COVID-19 deaths and those from seasonal influenza. The health ministry data shows that COVID-19 deaths dwarfed influenza fatalities in 2019 (3,575). This stark difference underscores the seriousness of COVID-19, even in its downgraded state.

Japanese authorities are taking steps to prepare for potential future outbreaks. The government is securing hospital beds and refocusing vaccination efforts on vulnerable populations like the elderly.

This news serves as a reminder that the COVID-19 pandemic is not over. While life may be approaching normalcy, the virus continues to pose a threat. Continued vigilance and responsible behaviour are crucial to minimising its impact.


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