The development of 5-year-old children was delayed by 4.39 months on average due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, a Japanese research group has found.

The group of researchers — mainly from Kyoto University and the University of Tsukuba — examined the developmental status of 5-year-old nursery school children in a municipality of the Tokyo metropolitan area.

While stating that it is unknown whether any similar delay happened in other municipalities, the group said that the developmental delay may have been caused by reduced interaction with others due chiefly to nursery closures during the COVID-19 crisis.