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COVID patients in Japan to foot more costs after downgrade

Testing, vaccine requirements for international arrivals to end on May 8

A train station in Tokyo. Japan is downgrading COVID-19 to the same legal category as seasonal influenza.   © Reuters

TOKYO -- Coronavirus patients in Japan will cover a portion of the cost of their care starting in May, under new plans announced Friday by the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare.

Japan will downgrade COVID-19 to the same legal category as common infectious diseases like the flu on May 8. As part of this transition, the government seeks to scale back special assistance tied to the coronavirus.

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