Japan recorded no daily deaths from COVID-19 for the first time in more than a year on Sunday, according to local media.
Prior to Sunday, there hadn’t been a day without a COVID-19 death since Aug. 2, 2020, according to a tally by national broadcaster NHK. The latest figures from the health ministry showed three deaths on Saturday.
COVID-19 cases and deaths have fallen dramatically throughout Japan as vaccinations have increased to cover more than 70% of the population.
New daily infections peaked at more than 25,000 during an August wave driven by the infectious Delta variant. The country has had more than 18,000 deaths from the disease during the course of the pandemic.
To gird against a possible rebound this winter, the government plans to start booster vaccine shots next month and is working to secure pill-based treatments for milder cases to reduce hospitalisations.
Reporting by Rocky Swift; editing by Richard Pullin