By NewsDesk  @bactiman63

Tokyo city officials recorded the lowest number of COVID-19 cases in a single day in 2021 on Monday, recording 9 new cases. This is down dramatically compared to cases reported in August when more than 5,000 cases were reported in a day.

What’s behind the sharp drop? No one is quite sure. Two weeks ago, a CBC report was published asking the same questions:

Japan, unlike other places in Europe and Asia, has never had anything close to a lockdown, just a series of relatively toothless states of emergency.

Some possible factors in Japan’s success include a belated but remarkably rapid vaccination campaign, an emptying out of many nightlife areas as fears spread during the recent surge in cases, a widespread practice, well before the pandemic, of wearing masks and bad weather in late August that kept people home.

“It’s a tough question, and we have to consider the effect of the vaccinations’ progress, which is extremely big,” said Disease Control and Prevention Center director Norio Ohmagari. “At the same time, people who gather in high-risk environments, such as crowded and less-ventilated places, may have been already infected and acquired natural immunity by now.”

In the first week of October, Tokyo averaged 154.3 new infections per day. The figure dropped to 77.1 in the second week, 35.4 in the third and fell further to 25.7 in the fourth week. The capital recorded 2,176 total COVID-19 cases in October for an average of 70.2 cases per day, a steep drop-off from September’s 31,842 total cases (an average of 1,061.4 per day) and the 125,606 infections (an average of 4,051.8 per day) tallied in August.

By Oct. 31, 3,147 people had died of COVID-19 in Tokyo since the pandemic began in Japan in the spring of 2020.