Japan recorded zero daily COVID-19 deaths in a 24-hour period for the first time in 15 months on November 8, 2021. Prior to the report, a tally of the national broadcaster NHK has shown that there had not been a day without a death from COVID-19 since August of last year.

The country reported 10,000 deaths in April and bled its extreme wave of the infectious Delta variant over the summer. But recently, cases and deaths have fallen remarkably throughout Japan as more citizens get their COVID-19 vaccinations, reaching 70% of the population. The Japanese government, on the other hand, plans to start rolling out booster vaccine shots next month and reduce hospitalizations for milder cases with pill-based medications. Shigeru Omi, one of the country’s leading health advisers, devises a new scale to measure the severity of coronavirus infections and a tool to anticipate the need for hospital beds in the event of a new wave. “We’ve learned over the past two years that we need to take strong, fast, and intensive measures,” Omi said. Meanwhile, in October, Tokyo lifted the states of emergency that mainly affected major cities, corresponding to a decrease in cases. Additionally, although tourism is still prohibited, Japan’s border restrictions for foreign nationals have loosened up for short-term business trips and long-term stays for students and foreign technical trainees.