Japan on Sunday reported no deaths from COVID-19 — the first day without a death related to the coronavirus pandemic in 15 months, according to The Associated Press.
Case rates in Japan have been rapidly falling, the AP noted, leading officials to remove some COVID-19-related measures such as entry restrictions for students, foreign workers and short-term business stays for those who are fully vaccinated.
Japan also reportedly reduced self-quarantine times for Japanese citizens and foreign residents to three days from 10 days upon returning to the country.
The death toll from COVID-19 in Japan is at 18,310, the AP noted, adding that the nation has been hit by surges throughout the pandemic. At times, the daily case rate was as high as 25,000 and hospital systems in the country faced potential collapse.
Widespread mask wearing and disinfection, along with high vaccination rates, have contributed to a decline in infections in the country, writes the AP.
Initially, Japan reportedly faced a slow administration of vaccines. But in the summer, it saw an uptick and now the country stands at a 74 percent rate of fully vaccinated people.
However, some officials in Japan are concerned, according to the AP, that restrictions are being lifted too soon or too rapidly, and that the country could see an uptick in COVID-19 cases.