Japan saw no deaths from COVID-19 on Sunday for the first time in about 15 months amid progress in vaccine rollouts and the spread of medicines, authorities said.

A total of 162 new infections were reported in Japan on Sunday, with the number of patients with severe symptoms remaining unchanged from the previous day at 100, according to the Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry.


Japan last saw no deaths from the novel coronavirus on Aug. 2 last year. After the nation's first COVID-19 death was reported in February 2020, the cumulative death toll topped 10,000 in April this year.

The daily death count peaked in mid-May this year, eclipsing 200, but had recently been at a single-digit level.

Around 73 percent of Japan's entire population has been fully vaccinated against COVID-19, according to the government.

Medicines such as casirivimab and imdevimab, which are administered intravenously in an "antibody cocktail" treatment, have been widely introduced in the country. The treatment lowers the risk of hospitalization or death by about 70 percent, according to overseas clinical trials.

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