Govt to Retire Omi as Chair of Infectious Disease Panel

Yomiuri Shimbun file photo
Shigeru Omi speaks to reporters.

The government decided on Thursday to retire Shigeru Omi, 74, from his post as the chair of the government panel for discussing measures against COVID-19 and other infectious diseases, according to government sources.

The panel for promotion of preparedness and response to a new strain of influenza and other new infectious diseases will also be reorganized by the government in time for the September launch of a new Cabinet agency on leading crisis management regarding contagious diseases. The government is planning to elect a new chair of the panel.

Since 2020, when novel coronavirus infections started spreading in Japan, Omi has advised the government from a scientific point of view as a specialist on infectious diseases. He also served as the head of the panel’s subcommittee on novel coronavirus measures.