国立感染症研究所

124th Meeting of the COVID-19 Advisory Board of the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare (August 4, 2023)Material 1

 

Evaluation of the latest Infection Status of COVID-19 Infections

Infection status and situation of the medical care provision system

  • The number of new patients has tended to gradually increase since early April, and has continued to increase for 11 consecutive weeks, even after the downgrade to Class 5. Most recently, the number of reports per fixed point nationwide has exceeded 15.
    (15.91 per fixed point from 7/24 to 7/30 nationwide, 1.14 compared to the previous week)
  • The number of new patients by region has increased from the previous week in 42 prefectures. In Okinawa, there has been a decreasing trend from early July.
    (17.59 per fixed point from 7/24 to 7/30 in Okinawa, 0.78 compared to the previous week)
  • The number of new patients by age group is increasing from the previous week nationwide in all age groups except those in their 10s.
  • Regarding trends in the occurrence of variants, XBB lineages account for the largest proportion. While the XBB.1.9 lineage tends to level off, the XBB.1.16 and the XBB.2.3 lineages tend to increase, and the XBB.1.5 lineage tends to decrease.
  • The numbers of newly hospitalized patients and severe cases are both on an increasing trend and the number of severe cases is increasing, especially since mid-July (It should be noted that recent data are underestimated).
  • Regarding the situation of the medical care provision system, although it is not strained anywhere in the country, the number of inpatients is increasing. In Okinawa, the number of inpatients is decreasing.
  • In emergency medical care, the number of cases that experience difficulty with emergency transportation tends to continue to increase, both for suspected COVID-19 and non-COVID-19-related cases.
  • Regarding the nighttime population, no significant increase was seen anywhere in the country since the downgrade to Class 5.

Future outlook

  • Based on previous situations, the number of new patients may continue to increase this summer, which may increase the burden on the medical care provision system.
  • It is necessary to pay attention to the impact of the attenuation of immunity that is due to natural infection and vaccination, the increase in the proportion of strains with potential immune escape, and the impact of future increases in contact opportunities, such as the summer vacation, on the infection situation.

Future efforts

  • We will continue to pursue obtaining a multi-layered understanding of infection trends, and pay attention to the medical care provision system nationwide.
  • For people at high risk of severe illness, such as elderly people and those with underlying diseases, vaccination will continue, and a shift in the medical system will be promoted so that a wide range of medical institutions can handle COVID-19 patients to provide the necessary medical care, even if the infection spreads, in cooperation with local governments and medical personnel.
  • We will continue to publicize basic infection control measures, including proper ventilation in particular, wearing of masks in situations where these are effective, and washing of hands, more actively.

 

Copyright 1998 National Institute of Infectious Diseases, Japan

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