Japan Finds Coronavirus Variant for 1st Time outside Airport

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Tokyo, Dec. 26 (Jiji Press)--Japan has detected a coronavirus variant from a person who recently returned from Britain for the first time outside its airport screening system, the health ministry said Saturday.

The variant, similar to the highly transmissible one spreading in Britain, was found from a pilot in his 30s and a member of his family in her 20s. The pilot was exempted from quarantine screening at airports.

The woman is believed to have caught the variant from the pilot as she has not visited Britain. The ministry suspects that her case is the first person-to-person transmission of the variant in Japan.

The ministry and the National Institute of Infectious Diseases are investigating details, including the structure of the variant and the degree of its infectiousness.

The two are hospitalized in Tokyo, where they live.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press