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The Japan Times

理事長 上昌広

【コメント】Could omicron be the beginning of the end of the COVID-19 pandemic? 2021/12/31

『Asia’s low case counts

Globally, a marked discrepancy in the spread of the coronavirus was observed in the last few months with relatively low numbers of COVID-19 cases reported in some Asian countries including Japan, Cambodia, Indonesia and the Philippines — in sharp contrast to the large case counts seen in Europe and the U.S., in particular, said Masahiro Kami, executive director of the Medical Governance Research Institute, a Tokyo-based nongovernmental organization.

The U.S. and the U.K. reported record daily cases of more than 480,000 and 180,000, respectively, on Wednesday, while several European countries also posted fresh highs this week despite the rollout of booster doses. In Japan, daily tallies had stayed well below 500 before exceeding that level for the first time in 2½ months on Wednesday. Indonesia posted fewer than 200 new cases on Tuesday, sharply lower than its peak of around 50,000 cases in July, according to Our World in Data.

But for Europe and the U.S., South Africa has shown that omicron’s surge may be short-lived. Most viruses also attenuate as they evolve, which could put some damper on the latest wave of infections over the winter, Kami said.

Still, it’s too early to determine which direction the pandemic will go in 2022.

“The year 2022 may see omicron become largely contained if the virus attenuates or the sharp fall in new cases in Asia” happens in the rest of the world, Kami said. “Or the omicron variant could spur a surge that could lead to the repeated emergence of new variants.”』









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