When the number of Covid-19 cases bottomed out, why did Japan “running against the current”?

Contrary to many other countries in Asia, the number of Covid-19 infections in Japan is falling sharply. This confuses the experts.

Japan’s daily number of new infections has dropped to less than 1 person per million people, the least among major economies other than China, and the number of deaths has dropped to zero in recent days.

In contrast, South Korea, which has the same vaccination rate as Japan, has a record number of infections. As the government relaxes strict travel control measures, the number of infections in Singapore and Australia has also increased again.

A new theory proposed to explain this difference is that the evolution of the virus that caused the Covid-19 pandemic in Japan has reduced its ability to replicate.

Professor Ituro Inoue of the National Institute of Genetics in Japan said that the delta variant called AY.29 can give cattle a certain degree of immunity.

“I think AY.29 is protecting us from other strains,” Inoue said. But I don’t believe it 100%. ”

Professor Paul Griffin of the University of Queensland said that the difference in infection rates between countries is due to a complex combination of weather factors, population density and different strategies to fight the pandemic. translate. translate. Coronavirus disease.

“We need to try to learn and learn from other countries, but we should not assume that all countries have experienced the same thing, because all these variables are taken into account,” Professor Griffin said. . arrive. .

The Australian expert added: “Some countries are using strategies other than vaccines to control transmission. Simple measures such as hand sanitizer, social distancing and wearing masks, whether mandatory or not, are voluntary.”

Japan has never been embargoed like many countries have applied for, and it has never given up restrictions and border restrictions before the arrival of the vaccine.

Dr. Kazuaki Kashiro, a researcher at Tohoku University, said: “Wearing masks and maintaining personal hygiene are still very important. Vaccines are an important aspect of disease prevention, but they are not the most ideal.”

Even considering vaccines and masks, some people say that the decline in Japan’s case rate is only a matter of time. Japan started vaccination late, which means that the vaccine is still very effective. In addition, others have also pointed out a seasonal trend in which the virus tends to increase and decrease within two months.

Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida ordered the border closure last week to prevent sudden changes in Omicron. Up to now, Japan has recorded 4 new cases of gene mutations.

Mr. Kishida said that it is important to prepare for the worst. The immunization program was launched last week. During the fifth wave of the epidemic in August, after some patients died at home, the Japanese government increased the capacity of the hospital by more than 30%. The worst. the best. So far.

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