Many medical institutions in Japan are still providing a significant number of consultations for patients with prolonged aftereffects of COVID-19, a year after the country downgraded the disease to a lower-risk category under the infectious disease control law.

Wednesday marked a year since the government lowered the classification of COVID-19 from Category II to Category V, which includes seasonal influenza. While the usual hustle and bustle has returned to the streets of Japan, many people are still left with COVID-19 aftereffects — in some cases with symptoms that greatly hamper people's daily activities.

The World Health Organization defines COVID-19 aftereffects as symptoms that last for at least two months after infection and cannot be attributed to other diseases.