Japan’s health authorities have reported on the next milestone: COVID-19 numbers have surged past 3 million.
Japan’s prime minister’s office showed on Friday the latest figures released by the Health Minister Shigeyuki Goto. Daily cases rose to 104,470, surpassing 100,000 mark for the first time on Thursday.
The Asian nation is undergoing the sixth wave of infections, caused by the stealth omicron variant. At least 34 provinces activated intense antivirus measures to stop spreading of the novel pathogen.
The officials are mulling to expand the quasi-state of emergency to more provinces in an effort to stem spread of the infection.
The top health official had a news conference Friday that he supported the recommendation of a government panel that children aged 2 or older should wear face masks at daycares. The new advice for children should be “pushed forward,” he said.
Last month, Japan had closed as many as 327 child care centers to avoid spread of the coronavirus, Kyodo News has learned. Takaji Wakita, head of experts advising the Health Ministry on its pandemic response, stressed that for improving the situation, Japan needs to take more steps to reduce infections among the most vulnerable citizen, children and the elderly.
“The number of novel coronavirus cases is starting to decline among young generations, but unless we see a downtrend among children and elderly people, the overall figures will not decline,” Wakita told a parliamentary session.