Towards the light at the end of the tunnel: Changes in clinical settings and political measures regarding COVID-19 from 2021, and future perspectives in Japan

Glob Health Med. 2022 Dec 31;4(6):327-331. doi: 10.35772/ghm.2022.01071.

Abstract

Japan has faced seven waves of the COVID-19 pandemic since 2020. Due to the less severe Omicron variant and the high rate of vaccination nationwide, the death rate has declined compared to that due to previous variants. In early 2022, current Prime Minister Fumio Kishida devised a new concept entitled "Living with COVID-19", encouraging a new lifestyle of living with SARS-CoV-2. Although treatment and prevention options have increased, the Omicron variant still causes deaths among the most vulnerable population. Before accepting life with SARS-CoV-2, challenges remain, especially with regard to communication, the healthcare system, and vaccination. A society-wide strategy involving multiple stakeholders should be adopted to mitigate the damage and achieve a true world where we are "Living with COVID-19".

Keywords: Omicron variant; communication; healthcare system; living with COVID-19; vaccination.