Japan recorded zero daily COVID-19 deaths for the first time in 15 months on November 8, 2021. Since August of last year, there had not been a day without a death from COVID-19, according to the data gathered by national media organization NHK.

The country also reported 10,000 deaths in April and suffered the deadly Delta variant over the summer. But recently, cases and deaths have decreased throughout Japan as more people get their COVID-19 vaccinations, reaching 70% of the population. The Japanese government, on the other hand, plans to start booster vaccine shots next month and reduce hospitalizations for milder cases with pill-based medications. Shigeru Omi, one of the country’s top health experts, designs a new scale to measure the seriousness of COVID-19 infections and a tool to assume the need for hospital beds when a new wave happens. “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 following a decrease in cases. Japan’s border restrictions for foreign nationals have also slackened off for short-term business trips and long-term stays for students, and technical trainees.