• staff report, Kyodo, Jiji

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The Tokyo Metropolitan Government confirmed its first case of the omicron variant of the coronavirus in a woman in her 20s who has been quarantining at home after arriving from the U.S., Gov. Yuriko Koike said Thursday.

The new finding has brought the cumulative number of omicron cases in Japan to 33.

A close contact of the omicron patient has also tested positive for COVID-19, the central government’s top spokesman said. The close contact, a man in his 20s, attended a soccer game in Kawasaki on Sunday.

The omicron patient tested negative for COVID-19 at an airport check but developed a fever while quarantining at home. It was confirmed that the person was infected with the omicron variant on Thursday, Koike said.

The central government classifies all people who share a flight with a person who contracts the omicron coronavirus variant as close contacts.

Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirokazu Matsuno said at a separate news conference Thursday that the patient entered Japan on Dec. 8 and is currently being treated at a medical institution.

Matsuno denied it was a case of community transmission, as close contacts of the omicron patient have been determined.

Further analysis is now being conducted on a sample from the patient who attended a soccer game to find out if it was the omicron variant.

That patient attended an Emperor’s Cup soccer game in Kawasaki on Sunday, Matsuno said, adding that the government is calling on people who are feeling unwell after going to the game to get tested.

The new finding follows Wednesday’s report that 15 people have tested positive for omicron either through airport checks or during their stay at quarantine facilities.

According to the health ministry, the 15 people, in their 20s to 70s, entered Japan between Dec. 7 and Sunday. They are currently isolating at medical institutions or elsewhere.

Thursday’s new case in Tokyo comes after Japan confirmed the first case of the omicron variant from a person quarantining at home in Gifu Prefecture last week.

A foreign national in his 40s living in Gifu Prefecture had tested negative at Narita Airport upon arrival on Dec. 4, but developed a fever during self-isolation at home in the prefecture.

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