• staff report, Jiji

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Tokyo confirmed 38 new cases of COVID-19 on Tuesday, up by 14 from a week before.

The seven-day average of daily new cases came to 27.0, compared with 18.1 a week earlier.

The number of severely ill patients under the Tokyo Metropolitan Government’s standards was unchanged from Monday at three. No deaths from COVID-19 were reported in Tokyo on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, the health ministry said Monday that the omicron variant of the coronavirus was newly found in 17 people, mostly during airport quarantine procedures.

Of them, 14 people tested positive at airport checks. They arrived in Japan between Dec. 12 and last Thursday, after staying in the United States, Britain or elsewhere.

One case each was reported in Tokyo, Gunma and Okinawa prefectures. So far, the total tally for omicron cases in Japan has come to 82.

The Gunma case involves a man in his 50s who returned from Kenya on Wednesday. He tested negative for the coronavirus at Narita Airport but entered a quarantine facility because one of the passengers on the same plane was suspected of being infected with the omicron variant. Currently, he is staying at a medical institution in Gunma, showing mild symptoms.

In the Tokyo case, a man in his 40s developed symptoms including a fever at a quarantine facility after arriving back from eastern Africa on Dec. 12.

In the Okinawa case, a woman in her 40s who worked at the U.S. military’s Camp Hansen was found to have been infected with the omicron variant.

Across Japan on Monday, 151 new COVID-19 cases were reported, with 41 of them detected at airport quarantine checks.

The nationwide number of severely ill COVID-19 patients came to 27 on Monday, unchanged from the previous day.

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