From Jiji Press
January 23 2022
JAPAN – The number of COVID-19 patients with severe symptoms has jumped around eightfold from the start of 2022 in Japan with the arrival of the sixth wave of infections across the country.
Although the omicron coronavirus variant, which has become the dominant virus strain, is said to tend to cause milder symptoms, infectious disease experts have voiced a strong sense of vigilance against the rapid increase of seriously ill patients.
According to the health ministry, the combined total of COVID-19 patients with severe symptoms announced by local governments across Japan stood at 51 on Jan. 1. The figure climbed to 89 in a week, to 233 in two weeks and topped 400 on Friday for the first time in about three months, in line with the increase of new infection cases.
On Sunday, there were 430 severely ill COVID-19 patients in the country, about one-fifth of a record high scored on Sept. 4 last year during the fifth wave of infections, at 2,223.
The health ministry estimates that the proportion of suspected omicron cases has climbed to around 93 pct of all new coronavirus infection cases confirmed in Japan.