Coronavirus

Japan to consider downgrading COVID-19 to less serious infectious disease

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Japan will consider downgrading COVID-19 to a less serious infectious disease and relaxing its guidance that people wear masks in public indoor places as early as this spring, Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said on Friday.

Kishida, speaking to media after meeting with relevant ministers, said he had instructed those ministers to consider the specifics regarding reclassification that would downgrade the status of COVID-19 to the same category as seasonal flu.

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The policy change would mean only patients with symptoms would be advised to wear masks indoors.

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