Japan’s Weekly Suspected Coronavirus Variant Cases Hit 2,352

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Tokyo, April 21 (Jiji Press)--The number of suspected novel coronavirus variant cases detected in Japan in the week to Tuesday came to 2,352, up from 1,525 reported in the preceding week, the health ministry said Wednesday.

The suspected cases were detected in simple tests.

The cumulative number of suspected variant cases reached 5,916, found in 46 of the country’s 47 prefectures, excluding Yamagata in northeastern Japan, according to the ministry. The Yamagata prefectural government has announced the discovery of suspected variant infection cases although they were not included in the tally reported by the health ministry.

By prefecture, Osaka, western Japan, had the most cumulative variant cases as of Tuesday, at 979, up by 209 from a week before, followed by Tokyo, at 967, up by 549, according to the ministry data. Cumulative variant cases stood at 342 in Saitama, north of Tokyo, up by 196, at 260 in Kanagawa, south of Tokyo, up by 120, and at 226 in the northernmost prefecture of Hokkaido, up by 119.

The number of coronavirus variant cases confirmed through genome analysis totaled 1,880. Most of the cases were of the highly contagious N501Y mutant strain, which was first detected in Britain.

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