Japan ex-top COVID adviser prioritized 'scientific rationality' during pandemic

The Japanese government's former top adviser for coronavirus countermeasures says he pursued scientific rationality in the difficult act of balancing infection control with social and economic activities.

Omi Shigeru met reporters in Tokyo on Thursday along with two other experts who were on the government's infectious diseases countermeasures panel.

Omi led the efforts to deal with the coronavirus pandemic for three and a half years as the head of the panel until last month.

Reflecting on the difficulties he faced when there was no single correct answer, Omi said he put importance on scientific rationality in drawing up proposals that would be convincing to many people.
He added that he tried to make people aware of the intentions behind the proposals.

Omi said Japan is currently in the midst of its ninth wave of infections, and the peak is not in sight yet. He said there is an increasing burden on the medical system, especially emergency medical care.

Omi warned that the fight against the coronavirus is not completely over yet. He said it is necessary to take steps to protect elderly and other vulnerable people while maintaining social activities.