Coronavirus Variants Seen Replacing Original Strain across Japan

Society Lifestyle Politics

Tokyo, April 28 (Jiji Press)--Variants of the coronavirus that causes COVID-19 is seen replacing the original strain throughout Japan, an advisory panel to the health ministry has said.

The panel adopted the view on Tuesday. It also expressed concern about a possible rise in the number of severely ill COVID-19 patients among elderly people as new infections are increasing across the country.

Meanwhile, a survey by the National Institute of Infectious Diseases suggested that 5.5 pct of people infected with coronavirus variants develop severe symptoms, compared with 1.6 pct for the original strain.

The institute said, however, that the number of coronavirus variant cases found so far is too small to conclude that coronavirus variants involve higher risks of severe symptoms.

At a press conference on the day, Takaji Wakita, the institute's head and also chair of the advisory panel, pointed out that new infections are rising even outside areas currently under a state of emergency or in the pre-emergency stage.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press