Japan: Record-breaking Covid-19 cases, hospitalizations and deaths

Asia, BA.2, BA.2.75, BA.5, Coronavirus, Deaths, Health, Hospitalization, Infection, Japan, Omicron, Reinfection, Transmission, Vaccine, Variants

Japan has seen record-breaking Covid-19 cases, hospitalizations and deaths in the past few days.

We have been looking at Japan’s Covid-19 figures for a couple of weeks trying to work out what is driving these record high numbers, but nothing really stands out.


Although BA.2.75 Centaurus has been detected in Japan, it’s not believed to be at the levels required to cause these record-breaking covid case numbers.

No other new variant has been declared by Japan, so the majority of the reported infections must be BA.5*


Japan does have a very unusual Covid wave pattern though, quite unlike anything we have seen elsewhere:


The population of Japan is highly vaccinated, and mask wearing is obligatory in many enclosed areas, but SARS-CoV-2 seems to have found a way around all of these mitigations. 

Covid cases are finally starting to fall from their peak, but hospitalizations might continue to climb for weeks yet.


This is probably not good news for American and European covid winter waves that are just weeks away from starting in earnest.

It definitely ain’t over yet….


UPDATE 1 – 22nd August 2022

Latest news from Raj Rajnarayanan is that BA.5.2* variants are the cause of the wave in Japan


Japan: Half of Covid deaths in under 20’s had no underlying health problems *1 Update*






** This post was originally published on August 20, 2022 **