TOKYO — As the omicron variant surges around the world, Japan’s overall coronavirus cases and deaths have been plummeting. And no one seems to know exactly why.
Call it the hunt for a potential “X factor,” such as genetics, that may explain the trend and inform how Japan could deal with the next wave. While the new highly transmissible omicron variant has appeared in the country and experts suspect there is already some community spread, the overall transmission rate of the virus and coronavirus-related deaths in Japan have remained low.
“Honestly, we do not know the exact reason behind the sudden drop in covid deaths in Japan,” said Taro Yamamoto, professor of global health at Nagasaki University’s Institute of Tropical Medicine.