TOKYO, Jan. 13 (Xinhua) -- The Japanese government is mulling the idea of making shorter the 14-day period of self-isolation currently in place for those who have come into close contact with a person infected with the Omicron COVID-19 variant, officials said Thursday.
In a bid to lessen the growing strain on the nation's medical facilities, the government's plan to lessen the period of self-isolation has been underpinned by the idea that Omicron's incubation period may be shorter in comparison to other variants.
"We'd like to consider responding flexibly as needed," Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida told a press briefing in Tokyo.
The National Institute for Infectious Diseases conducted a study on people in Okinawa Prefecture who were infected with the Omicron variant, finding that the incubation period of the Omicron variant was around three days shorter compared to the average five days for other variants of the virus.
Japan is currently grappling with a sixth wave of infections, with new cases of Omicron running rampant around the country.
The nationwide daily tally of new infections topped the 13,000-mark on Wednesday for the first time in over four months, official figures showed.