TOKYO: Japanese health minister Shigeyuki Goto said Friday that the government will consider recommending having children wear face masks to reduce coronavirus infection risks.
Goto made the comment at a press conference as the highly transmissible omicron coronavirus variant is spreading fast at nursery schools.
Currently, the health ministry does not recommended mask wearing by children younger than 2, mainly citing heightened risks of suffocation. The ministry also allows young children aged 2 or older not to wear masks if it is difficult for them to do this.
Goto pointed to a need to take measures to prevent the virus from spreading further.
“The elderly and children are becoming the main focus of infections. The virus could spread from them,” he said.
In a video conference with Goto on Thursday, Tottori Governor Shinji Hirai, president of the National Governors’ Association, asked the central government to promote mask wearing by children aged 2 or older at nursery schools.