Naha, Okinawa – Okinawa Prefecture said Friday that a Japanese worker at the U.S. military’s Camp Hansen in the southernmost Japan prefecture has been found infected with the omicron variant of the novel coronavirus.
At the base, a total of 99 U.S. soldiers have been confirmed to be infected with the coronavirus as of Friday.
The prefectural government is trying to find out how the worker in his 50s caught the variant, saying that it is very likely he was infected on the base.
The worker is the first confirmed omicron case in the prefecture.
According to the prefectural government, the man, who lives in the city of Uruma, was found positive for the virus Tuesday in a polymerase chain reaction test conducted the day before. He began to show symptoms including fever on Sunday.
The worker was confirmed to be infected with the omicron variant Friday. He had been vaccinated against the virus.
Genomic analyses are being conducted on a separate worker and a person who had close contact with this other worker. The two may also have the omicron variant.
The infected soldiers are being quarantined in Okinawa after arriving from the United States. They did not fly on a civilian aircraft.
Whether the soldiers are infected with the omicron variant is unknown since there are no institutions in the base that can conduct genomic analyses.
Through the Foreign Ministry, the prefectural government requested that the United States conduct genome analyses and prohibit U.S. soldiers from leaving the base.
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