Japan is likely to be experiencing a 10th wave of COVID-19 infections, as reported infection cases have increased for nine consecutive weeks, according to an infectious disease expert.

The spread is being driven by the highly contagious new JN.1 variant. Norio Sugaya, visiting professor of infectious diseases at Keio University, has warned the public to take precautions.

In May last year, Japan lowered the status of COVID-19 under the infectious disease law to Class 5, the same as seasonal influenza. The country also stopped counting all infected people and shifted to a monitoring method covering cases reported by about 5,000 chosen medical institutions nationwide.