Panel Warns of Spread of Coronavirus Variants in Kansai

Politics

Tokyo, April 20 (Jiji Press)--A Japanese health ministry advisory board on Tuesday warned of a growing spread of novel coronavirus variants in place of the original strain in the Kansai region of western Japan.

Infection cases are continuing to expand in the region, which includes Osaka Prefecture, the board also said. Mutant strains are believed to be more contagious than the original novel coronavirus.

It called for further countermeasures to be taken, noting an increase in the number of cases in which emergency transportation of patients to hospitals in the region takes time due to heavy strain on the medical system.

"The pace of increase in infection cases is slowing in Osaka, but the prefecture continues to see a spread of the virus, requiring the implementation of strong measures to reduce person-to-person contact," Takaji Wakita, head of the National Institute of Infectious Diseases, told a press conference.

Strong countermeasures should be put into place in Tokyo as early as possible, he also said.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press