Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida tested positive for Covid

(Bloomberg) – Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida has tested positive for Covid-19, the government has announced.

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Kishida, 65, developed a cough and mild fever on Saturday evening and tested positive in a PCR test, according to a statement from the Cabinet Secretary. He is currently resting at the official residence of the Prime Minister.

Coronavirus infections in the country have remained near record highs, with 24,780 Covid cases discovered in Tokyo alone on Sunday. This is forcing politicians and health officials to reconsider what measures, if any, are needed to contain the outbreak. Countries around the world face the same conundrum, as the arrival of more infectious omicron subvariants has led to higher infection rates, even as testing in most regions is down.

Kishida, who called on the elderly to get their fourth Covid-19 shot, got himself vaccinated earlier this month.

The end of the pandemic restrictions imposed on businesses at the end of March helped to stimulate the Japanese economy. Consumer spending, which accounts for more than half of Japan’s economic output, led growth, as did capital spending. The relaxation of Covid rules has led to increased spending in restaurants and hotels, as well as for clothing.

Read more: Japanese Prime Minister Kishida sees support slip as Covid numbers peak

Kishida is able to continue with his duties but will cancel a planned trip to Tunisia and the Middle East next week, Japanese media reported.

The route of infection is unknown at this time, and only some family members, including Kishida’s wife, are close contacts, broadcaster NHK reported, citing government officials.

The Prime Minister ended his official duties on August 15 and was due to return to official duties on Monday after taking his summer vacation. He now plans to work online, the network said.

The Japanese government plans to stop requiring medical institutions to report the number of cases daily after the current wave of infections ends, the Yomiuri newspaper reported on Thursday, as Japan considers classifying the pathogen. as endemic.

(Updates with report on work plans, reminder.)

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