The health ministry has reported three more coronavirus variant cases, with the cumulative number of such cases in the nation rising to 59.
A coronavirus variant spreading in Britain was found in a Tokyo woman in her 50s who had close contact with a coronavirus-infected man in his 50s who also lives in the capital, the ministry said Friday. Both have never been abroad.
This was the 10th suspected case of community-acquired infection for a variant strain of the deadly virus. A detailed examination of the Tokyo man was also underway, the ministry said.
The woman’s infection with the British variant was discovered as the ministry examined samples collected from some 1,700 people in Tokyo who had tested positive for the coronavirus. The woman was hospitalized in Tokyo on Wednesday after developing symptoms on Sunday. Neither the woman nor the man is in severe condition, according to the ministry.
The British variant was also found from two people who flew to Japan from abroad earlier this month, the ministry said. One of them, a man in his 50s, arrived at Narita International Airport on Jan. 21, and the other, a woman in her 20s, flew to Tokyo International Airport at Haneda on Jan. 22. The man and the woman had been to the United Arab Emirates and Britain, respectively.
On Friday, Tokyo reported 868 news coronavirus cases, falling below 1,000 for the first time in two days, the metropolitan government said.
Of the new cases, 172 were confirmed among people in their 20s, 140 among those in their 30s, 119 among those in their 50s and 112 among those in their 40s, while 225 cases involved those aged 65 or older.
Under the metropolitan government’s standards, the number of severely ill patients in Tokyo decreased by three from the previous day to 147.
Across Japan the same day, a total of 3,538 cases were confirmed, with the number of severely ill patients down 18 at 1,014.
The nationwide tally of new deaths among infected people came to 96, including 18 in Kanagawa Prefecture, 17 in Tokyo and 10 each in Chiba and Osaka prefectures. The figures for Kanagawa and Chiba both marked record highs.
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