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Japan exits COVID chapter marked by lack of science

As downgrade nears, government should take stock of its response

Japan initially succeeded in limiting the spread of COVID-19 but has since experienced several waves.   © Reuters

TOKYO -- Japan has finally decided to downgrade COVID-19 to a less-serious class of infectious disease, marking an end to a pandemic phase often shadowed by a dearth of coherent policy based on science.

Discussions on the downgrade themselves began belatedly last fall, exposing the government's inability to stay ahead of the curve as the virus evolved.

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