As they confront a record COVID-19 wave, Japanese firms are temporarily closing offices or halting output, hurting commerce in a nation that has up until this point fared better than other developed nations. Last week, manufacturing line shifts were stopped at Toyota Motor Corp. and Daihatsu Motor Co. due to personnel diseases. In order to fill gaps, KFC Holdings Japan Ltd had to close several of its fast-food locations. Meanwhile, Japan Post Holdings Co had to temporarily close more than 200 postal facilities.
The number of Covid cases in Japan has surpassed that of other nations as the full effects of the BA.4 and BA.5 varieties ruling the world become apparent. According to data from the World Health Organization, nearly 1.4 million new COVID cases have been reported in Japan in the last week.
Businesses are struggling to keep up.
Subaru Corp CFO Katsuyuki Mizuma recently told reporters how the automaker was attempting to prevent infections and work stoppages: “We have divided the meal time into several time slots and have told workers to sit in one direction and not to talk at all.”
On Wednesday, the number of newly diagnosed COVID cases in Japan reached an all-time high of about 250,000. Because immunizations and booster doses are so common, hospitalizations and deaths are also increasing, but not as dramatically as in earlier waves.
Japan has had an admirable track record when it comes to handling the Covid epidemic, avoiding the disruptive lockdowns and high mortality tolls that have occurred elsewhere.
More over 32,000 people have died in the nation of 125.8 million, which is a small number compared to, say, the death tolls in the United States and Britain.
The most recent outbreak will probably demonstrate if it can continue to adopt a flexible strategy geared at “living with corona” and reducing the economic cost, especially if the disruption currently being experienced develops greater or persists for a long time.
A Toyota representative stated last week that “there is still a shortage of semiconductors and the spread of the coronavirus is currently expanding.”
“The future is still uncertain.”
Health officials advise those who test positive to quarantine for 10 days, and their immediate family members should isolate for at least five of those days.
The Dai-ichi Life Group’s chief economist, Toshihiro Nagahama, predicted that production and retail would suffer as affected persons and their close contacts stayed at home.