Japan on Monday discovered a variant of coronavirus found in South Africa, the first such discovery in a nation that has already identified more than a dozen cases of another variant that is rapidly spreading in the UK.
A woman in her thirties who arrived in Japan on December 19 was infected with the new variant of the virus, according to the Ministry of Health. The South African health authorities have stated that the variant may be responsible for a recent surge in infections.
The announcement of the discovery of the South African-linked variant comes after the Japanese government began banning non-resident aliens from entering Japan on the Monday following the discovery of the British variant in Japan.
Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga urged calm before the New Year holidays, when hospitals tend to be understaffed, and instructed ministers to remain vigilant.
“They say there is no evidence that the vaccines that are already being given overseas are not effective against this variant, and that the anti-infection steps for it are unchanged from those for the conventional virus,” Suga said, referring to to the new, fast virus. Distribution of the British variant.
He spoke before announcing the discovery of the South African-related variant.
“The virus does not recognize year-end or New Year holidays. I urge every minister to increase the sense of urgency and take thorough countermeasures,” he said at a meeting of the government’s task force on coronavirus responses.
A Japanese business traveler at Tokyo’s Haneda Airport, where few people were seen, said the government should do more.
“Although Japan is doing something to counter the variant, there are still reports of cases in Japan,” said 56-year-old Seiji Oohira upon arrival from India, where he works for a construction company.
“I think it is better to tighten the restrictions a little more.”
Japan is facing a third wave of novel coronavirus infections. According to the public broadcaster NHK, the daily cases hit a record 3,881 on Saturday. The deaths hit an all-time high of 64 on Friday.
Yuichiro Hata, a 53-year-old former transport minister and son of former Prime Minister Tsutomu Hata, died of COVID-19 on Sunday.
(This story was not edited by GossipMantri staff and is automatically generated from a syndicated feed.)