Exam Opportunities to Be Secured for Omicron Close Contacts

Politics Society Lifestyle

Tokyo, Dec. 26 (Jiji Press)--Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida on Sunday instructed the education ministry to consider securing opportunities to take school entrance examinations for test-takers identified as close contacts of those infected with the omicron variant of the novel coronavirus, sources close to Kishida said.

Options may include allowing such people to take tests in separate rooms, according to the sources. Kishida's instructions came at a time when community-acquired omicron infection cases are starting to spread in the country.

With less than a month to go until the Jan. 15-16 unified university entrance exams, organized by the National Center for University Entrance Examinations, the ministry will rush to study specific measures with experts and announce a decision by the end of this year, the sources said. Kishida is apparently having in mind high school and junior high school entrance exams as well.

The first case in Japan of the highly transmissible omicron variant was confirmed in late November, and community-acquired omicron cases have since been found in prefectures including Tokyo and Osaka in western Japan.

On Tuesday last week, Kishida announced a policy of urging close contacts of those infected with omicron to quarantine at accommodation facilities for 14 days, not at their homes.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press