THE ASAHI SHIMBUN
November 30, 2021 at 18:14 JST
A passenger flying from Namibia who tested positive for COVID-19 was confirmed infected with the Omicron variant on Nov. 30, becoming the nation’s first such case, the Japanese government announced.
The man, who is in his 30s, arrived in Japan on Nov. 28 at Narita Airport with two family members and was running a fever, according to the health ministry.
That was the same day the government expanded the list of countries in southern Africa for bolstered quarantine measures to nine amid concerns about the potentially highly contagious Omicron variant, which was first detected in South Africa.
The man’s relatives reportedly tested negative for the novel coronavirus.
Health officials are determining whether passengers seated in two rows directly in front of and behind him came in close contact with the patient.
The National Institute of Infectious Diseases (NIID) in Tokyo confirmed the infection by Omicron through genome sequencing.
Health experts have warned that Omicron, with about 30 mutations in the spike protein, may be potentially more transmissible than prior variants and render vaccines less effective against it.
The NIID named the new strain the “variant of concern,” the highest level of alarm, on Nov. 28.
Visit this page for the latest news on Japan’s battle with the novel coronavirus pandemic.
Haruki Murakami and other writers read from books before selected audiences at the new Haruki Murakami Library.
The Asahi Shimbun aims “to achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls” through its Gender Equality Declaration.
Let’s explore the Japanese capital from the viewpoint of wheelchair users and people with disabilities with Barry Joshua Grisdale.