No COVID deaths in Japan for 1st time in 15 months

Japan reported no COVID-19 deaths on Sunday. This is the first time since August 2, 2020 that there have been no such deaths in the country.

People's lives are also gradually returning to normal. A government expert panel has come up with a new five-stage scale for assessing the improved situation.

The current anti-virus measures are based on a four-stage scale. This considers such factors as the number of new infections in each prefecture and hospital bed occupancy rates.

The panel is proposing a five-stage scale with greater emphasis on the degree of strain on medical services.

The draft proposal takes account of changing circumstances, including progress with the vaccine rollout and pharmaceutical development programs, as well as the growing number of cases with light symptoms.

The panel also says each prefecture will use computer simulations with the new scale to prevent hospitals from being overwhelmed by a surge in cases.