Omicron's BA.2 subvariant has come to account for about 90 percent of new coronavirus cases in the country, an estimate by an experts panel at the health ministry showed Wednesday.

The panel is calling for antivirus measures to be taken thoroughly as a larger-than-usual number of people are expected to travel during the Golden Week holidays starting Friday.

People wearing masks for protection against the coronavirus walk in Tokyo's Ginza area on April 25, 2022. (Kyodo) ==Kyodo

"There is a very high possibility that the holidays will lead to increased numbers of infections," Takaji Wakita, the head of the panel, said.

Daily new COVID-19 cases totaled 46,267 on Wednesday, up about 6,000 from the previous day, with the capital Tokyo logging 6,052 cases.

Meanwhile, the number of new cases in the country during the past week fell 9 percent from the previous week for the second straight week of decline, according to the panel.

Nationwide cases are on a declining trend, with a notable fall in large cities, although some regional areas are seeing a rise, the panel said.

Separately, the health ministry said 555 people died at home from January to March when the sixth wave of the coronavirus struck Japan. Of those, 39 percent had received the second shot of the COVID-19 vaccine.