Tokyo City Approves Imports of Ebola Virus by Biosafety Lab

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Tokyo, July 1 (Jiji Press)--Musashimurayama Mayor Masaru Fujino informed health minister Takumi Nemoto on Monday of his approval of a plan to keep such deadly viruses as Ebola at a research facility of the National Institute of Infectious Diseases in the city in a Tokyo suburb.

The viruses will be imported to the Murayama branch of the NIID, which can handle dangerous pathogens designated as the highest Biosafety Level, or BSL, of 4 under the World Health Organization's standards, as early as this summer.

The move will help strengthen Japan's inspection system for diseases that have never spread in the country, in preparation for an expected increase in the number of visitors from abroad ahead of the 2020 Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games next summer.

At a meeting with Nemoto, Fujino made five requests, including taking full safety measures, the proactive disclosure of information and future consideration for a relocation. The ministry will give answers to the requests in documents.

The pathogens to be imported to the facility are those related to Ebola, Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever, South American hemorrhagic fever, Marburg disease and Lassa fever.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press