Highly Contagious Coronavirus Variant Raging in Tokyo: Experts

Politics Lifestyle

Tokyo, April 28 (Jiji Press)--A highly contagious coronavirus variant with the N501Y mutation is estimated to be causing nearly 60 pct of the total cases in Tokyo, experts reported Wednesday.

Citing the Tokyo Metropolitan Institute of Public Health's data, the experts said at a coronavirus monitoring meeting held by the metropolitan government that the N501Y cases accounted for 59.6 pct in the week through Sunday, up sharply from the preceding week's 32.8 pct.

Meanwhile, the seven-day average of new cases in the capital as of Tuesday climbed 18 pct from a week earlier to 716.4.

Nighttime flows of people in downtown areas between April 18 and Sunday grew some three-fold from the levels during the first coronavirus state of emergency, declared in April last year.

"If people have more opportunities to have contact with others during the Golden Week holiday period (starting Thursday), Tokyo may see cases increase faster than the spread seen in the third wave of pandemic," Norio Omagari, a doctor at the National Center for Global Health and Medicine, said at the meeting.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press