TOKYO: An eighth wave of COVID-19 infections is highly likely to hit Japan, in light of an uptrend in the number of new infection cases across the country and overseas infection situations, according to a projection by experts.
As the proportion of people who have been infected with the novel coronavirus per population is lower in Japan than in many other parts of the world, the level of acquisition of immunity following natural infection is low in the country, an advisory panel of experts at the health ministry said at a meeting on Thursday.
At the meeting, the experts including Takaji Wakita, chair of the panel and head of the National Institute of Infectious Diseases, presented materials analyzing the outlook of infection trends.
“The fact that immunity acquired through vaccinations declines over time may affect the risk of an eighth wave of infections,” Wakita said, calling for promoting COVID-19 vaccinations further.
The number of infection cases newly confirmed in the week through Wednesday grew in almost all regions in Japan, with the nationwide total rising 1.35-fold from the preceding week and marking the first increase in eight weeks.
The panel said the pace of increase and whether the growth will continue in the country should be monitored closely.