S. African Coronavirus Variant Found in Japan

Society Lifestyle

Tokyo, Dec. 28 (Jiji Press)--A new variant of the novel coronavirus that is spreading in South Africa was found in Japan for the first time on Monday, according to the health ministry.

The coronavirus variant was detected in samples from a woman in her 30s who arrived at Narita International Airport near Tokyo via the Qatari capital of Doha on Dec. 19, after staying in South Africa.

After she tested positive for the coronavirus at the airport while showing no symptoms, her samples were closely examined at the National Institute of Infectious Diseases. The variant may be more infectious than the original virus, but details are not known, the ministry said.

Also through airport testing, six people who have recently stayed in Britain were newly found positive for another coronavirus variant, which is spreading in Britain.

The six, in the age group of 10-49, arrived at Tokyo’s Haneda Airport between Dec. 1 and last Thursday. Of them, a man in his 40s who arrived on Thursday has symptoms including a fever, while the other five are free of symptoms.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press