Japan to reduce quarantine days for COVID-19 close contacts
Japan will further cut the quarantine period from the current 10 days to seven days for people who came in close contact with someone infected with COVID-19, Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said Friday, News.Az reports citing Xinhua.
The decision was made amid the "sixth wave" of infections across the country due to the highly transmissible Omicron variant of the novel coronavirus.
On Friday, Japan logged 81,811 new infection cases, with Tokyo alone reporting 17,631, once again setting new records.
Kishida said the decision was made in light of "expert opinions and new scientific evidence", adding that Japan needs to strike a balance between curbing infections and maintaining functions in the society.
The quarantine days for essential workers in the area of medical treatment, police, child care and nursing care, meanwhile, will be reduced from the current six days to five days through using a combination of two COVID-19 tests, Kishida said.
On Jan. 14, the Japanese government reduced the quarantine period from 14 days to 10 days, but the business community among others asked for further shortening, in light of the new variant's characteristics.
According to Japan's National Institute of Infectious Diseases, the possibility of developing symptoms from Omicron is less than 1 percent on the 10th day after having contact with the virus, compared with 5 percent on the seventh day.