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GOJ may downgrade COVID-19 to same level as seasonal flu 

  • August 10, 2021
  • , Sankei
  • JMH Summary

Sankei front-paged a report claiming that the Health Ministry is mulling downgrading the novel coronavirus to a disease that warrants medical response equivalent to seasonal flu in view of the opinion of some medical professionals that the current classification of COVID-19 as a quasi-Type II disease, which is equal to SARS and tuberculosis, is too severe and has resulted in a shortage of medical resources. These experts argue that by reclassifying COVID-19, patients will be able to be treated at regular hospitals and clinics instead of only designated medical institutions and the strain on the existing healthcare capacities can be reduced considerably because the labor-intensive, time-consuming contact tracing and mandatory hospitalization will become unnecessary. Others insist, however, that reclassification at this juncture is premature and advise that it should only be done after the vaccination program and development of medicines are complete. 

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