Published: 10:32, September 27, 2022 | Updated: 14:29, September 27, 2022
Study: Japan's herd immunity near 90% after Omicron wave
By Agencies

People wearing protective masks to help curb the spread of the coronavirus walk near a landmark lion statue of a department store that also wears a mask in the Ginza shipping area of Tokyo on July 28, 2022. (SHUJI KAJIYAMA / AP)

TOKYO / ISLAMABAD / BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN / MANILA / SINGAPORE / HANOI / YANGON / SEOUL / NEW DELHI - Japan's population level immunity to COVID-19 has reached about 90 percent in major population areas after a recent Omicron wave, though that level of protection is likely to diminish in a matter of months, according to a study published on Tuesday.

That level of so-called "herd immunity" reflects partial protection imparted from both natural infection and vaccination, according to the Tokyo Foundation of Policy Research, which estimated the levels for 12 of Japan's most-populated prefectures.

People in Tokyo, Osaka and the southern prefecture of Okinawa got most of their immunity through contagion amid high case counts in those areas, particularly during a seventh wave of infections that peaked last month, the researchers found.

About 65 percent of Japan's population have received at least one COVID-19 vaccine booster shot, compared to about 33 percent in the United States, based on government data.

Japan last week began distributing booster shots formulated to target the Omicron strain of the virus.

 Japan currently requires a five-month interval for booster shots, though that may be too long to offer protection to elderly and vulnerable groups should a projected eighth wave emerge toward the end of the year, the researchers wrote. 

ALSO READ: Report: Japan weighs relaxing COVID-19 border rules

Workers wearing protective suits spray disinfectant at Suri Seri Begawan Raja Pengiran Anak Damit Mosque in an effort to counter the spread of the COVID-19 in Bandar Seri Begawan in Brunei on March 17, 2020. (PHOTO / AFP)


Brunei logged a daily average of 210 new COVID-19 cases in the past week compared to 215 cases per day the week before, the health ministry said on Monday.

According to the health ministry's weekly briefing, 37,733 antigen rapid test (ART) results were uploaded to the government platform within one week, with 3.2 percent of them being positive.

As of Sept 25, 78.4 percent of Brunei's population have received three doses of COVID-19 vaccines, while 10.4 percent have taken the fourth dose.

The COVID-19 vaccines from Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, AstraZeneca, and China's Sinopharm are administered in the Southeast Asian country.


India's daily COVID-19 caseload fell to 3,230, official data showed on Tuesday.

According to federal health ministry data released on Tuesday morning, 3,230 new cases of COVID-19 were reported during the past 24 hours, taking the total tally to 44,575,473 in the country. The number marked a decrease in comparison to the daily caseload of 4,129 one day ealier.

With the fresh cases, India's active caseload currently stands at 42,358.

The country also logged 32 related deaths during the past 24 hours, pushing the overall death toll to 528,562 since the beginning of the pandemic, the ministry said.


Myanmar recorded 284 new cases of COVID-19 in the past 24 hours, bringing the country's total tally to 621,686, according to the Ministry of Health on Monday.

The death toll from COVID-19 in the country stood unchanged at 19,455 on Monday as no new deaths were reported in the past 24 hours, the ministry said.


Pakistan recorded 55 new COVID-19 cases over the past 24 hours, the country's ministry of health said on Monday.

The overall tally of infected people climbed to 1,572,376 after adding the fresh cases, according to the data released by the ministry.

A total of 30,612 people died of COVID-19 in Pakistan, with no new deaths reported over the last 24 hours, according to the ministry.

A man shops for face masks in Divisoria, a local shopping district in Manila on May 17, 2022. (JAM STA ROSA / AFP)

The Philippines

The Philippines reported 2,001 new COVID-19 infections on Monday, bringing the total number of confirmed cases in the Southeast Asian country to 3,940,201.

The Department of Health said the number of active cases rose to 37,082, while 29 more patients died from COVID-19 complications, taking the death toll to 62,819.

The country, with a population of around 110 million, has fully vaccinated over 73 million people. 


Singapore reported 1,606 new cases of COVID-19 on Monday, bringing the total tally to 1,892,947.

Of the new cases, 147 cases were detected through PCR (polymerase chain reaction) tests and 1,459 through ARTs (antigen rapid test), according to statistics released by the Ministry of Health.

Among the PCR cases, 139 were local transmissions and eight were imported cases. Among the ART cases with mild symptoms and assessed to be of low risk, there were 1,383 local transmissions and 76 imported cases, respectively.

Five deaths were reported from COVID-19 on Monday, bringing the total death toll to 1,615, the ministry said.

ALSO READ: Singapore relaxes tight COVID-19 social curbs from Monday

A health worker takes sample from a man for COVID-19 test in Hanoi, Vietnam on Jan 6, 2022. (HAU DINH / AP)


Vietnam recorded 1,432 new COVID-19 cases on Monday, up by 471 from Sunday, according to its ministry of health.

All the new cases were locally transmitted, said the health ministry.

The newly reported infections brought the total tally to 11,473,733. The country reported no new deaths from the pandemic on Monday, with the total fatalities staying at 43,146.

ALSO READ: COVID-19: Philippines sees 43% rise in deaths in 2021