A new daily record for Covid-19 deaths has been set in Japan, and the link between deaths and cases appears to be breaking too.
Japan has seen Covid-19 deaths reach a new record high for the pandemic overnight, with a seven-day rolling average of around 297 deaths. This compares to a peak of around 293 deaths per day in the last major wave in September 2022.
Covid hospitalizations in Japan are also increasing, and a link with the increase in deaths is quite clear:
In 2022, each Covid wave has started from a higher base level than the previous wave, with the virus no longer dying back to a manageable level. Each successive wave increases in severity.
The link between cases and deaths in Japan appears to be somewhat broken, however, with Covid deaths rising at a faster rate than cases compared to the September 2022 wave.
UPDATE 1 – The case fatality rate in Japan has been steadily rising since the summer of 2022. It’s now about 50% higher than at the peak of the last wave in August 2022:
The main Covid variants in Japan are currently BF.5, BA.5.2, BA.5.2.1, BA.2.75 and BQ.1.1
It’s possible that a new SARS-CoV-2 mutation, ORF7a:H47Y, seen in BF.5* in Japan and in BF.7* in China may be affecting the Covid case numbers and the fatality rate in both countries.