• Jiji, Kyodo


The Osaka Prefectural Government said Wednesday that a teenage boy with COVID-19 has died in the prefecture, in what is believed to be the first coronavirus-linked death among people under 20 in the country.

According to health ministry data as of Tuesday, there had been no registered deaths among those in the age group confirmed to be infected with the virus.

The boy, who had not been vaccinated against COVID-19, was at higher risk of developing severe symptoms for reasons including an underlying disease, according to the prefectural government.

He was taken to a hospital in the city of Osaka by ambulance on the evening of Sept. 1 for symptoms not caused by his COVID-19 infection, the prefectural government said, and tested positive for the disease after arriving at the hospital.

Hirofumi Yoshimura | KYODO
Hirofumi Yoshimura | KYODO

He occupied a bed for severely ill coronavirus patients at the hospital and received treatment until he died on Tuesday.

COVID-19 vaccination is approved for people age 12 and above in Japan.

The prefectural government stopped short of disclosing the details of his health problems, saying that it needed to protect personal information.

Osaka Gov. Hirofumi Yoshimura said the prefectural government does not plan to make any changes to infection prevention measures taken at schools in Osaka because of this case, adding that the case does not indicate that the death rate among teenagers infected with the virus is high.

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