Global Health & Medicine 2023;5(2):70-74.
An overview of the reclassification of COVID-19 of the Infectious Diseases Control Law in Japan
Kitahara K, Nishikawa Y, Yokoyama H, Kikuchi Y, Sakoi M
Japan's responses to COVID-19 have been conducted based on the Act on the Prevention of Infectious Diseases and Medical Care for Patients with Infectious Diseases (the Infectious Diseases Control Law) and the Act on Special Measures against Novel Influenza, etc. (the Act on Special Measures), as COVID-19 is classified as the category of "the Novel Influenza etc." under the Infectious Diseases Control Law. The government's Novel Coronavirus Response Headquarters decided to reclassify COVID-19 as a Category V infectious disease under the Infectious Diseases Control Law in May 2023 since the disease has become less lethal. Accordingly, the countermeasures such as surveillance and medical care are going to be reviewed, and COVID-19 prevention actions will depend on personal choices (Prior to the review in May, mask usage will be changed from 13 March). However, this does not mean that infection control measures are no longer necessary; it is recommended that such measures be taken in certain settings in order to prevent the elderly and those who at a high risk of severe illness from being infected, even after the disease is classified as Category V.