Japanese Premier Fumio Kishida has asked the Ministry of Health to consider equating the classification of coronavirus with that of influenza starting in the spring of this year, thus reducing containment measures against the disease.

“We have asked experts to review the Covid19 status since last November. Based on that, we asked to classify the disease within ‘group 5,'” Kishida explained after his meeting with Health Minister Katsunobu Kato. So far, coronavirus is part of “group 2” disease, which allows authorities to take strict measures and travel restrictions to help reduce cases, while “group 5” covers seasonal diseases such as influenza.

The head of government also announced that the current quarantine system for positive cases and close contacts, as well as financial assistance, recommendation to wear masks indoors or future vaccination programs, will be reviewed, but without providing further details.

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