Japan to shorten COVID isolation period, simplify nationwide case count system

Japan's government has decided to shorten the self-isolation period for coronavirus patients and simplify the national system for counting new cases.

Prime Minister Kishida Fumio exchanged views about coronavirus measures with health minister Kato Katsunobu and other relevant ministers on Tuesday.

They decided that the self-isolation period for symptomatic patients will be shortened from the current 10 days to seven. The period for asymptomatic people is to be cut from seven days to five as long as they test negative.

The government also plans to shift to a simplified nationwide total case count system on September 26.
It will require the details of only patients who are at risk of becoming seriously ill to be reported.

Final adjustments are underway to ease the restrictions on the movement of patients who are recuperating at home. Patients who have had light symptoms for more than 24 hours or asymptomatic people will be allowed to make necessary outings, such as to buy groceries. But they must wear masks and take other precautions against spreading the virus.

The government plans to hear views from experts before officially approving such measures.