Photo/Illutration An electron microscope image of the Omicron variant of the novel coronavirus (Provided by the National Institute of Infectious Diseases)

Tokyo’s first community spread of the Omicron variant of the novel coronavirus was confirmed on Christmas Eve, Governor Yuriko Koike said at a news conference.

The COVID-19 patient has no history of traveling abroad, and the infection route remains unknown, Koike said on Dec. 24.

In response to the report, Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said free COVID-19 tests will be made available for everybody in the capital.

The government earlier said the free tests will be provided in Osaka, Kyoto and Okinawa prefectures.

Previously, six people in Tokyo were confirmed infected with the Omicron variant. Five of them were entrants from abroad and one was in close contact with an Omicron-infected person.

Officials were able to trace the infection routes in those six cases.

Japan’s first community spread of the Omicron variant was confirmed in Osaka Prefecture on Dec. 22.

A teacher and his wife, both in their 30s, and their child of preschool age were infected with the variant, Osaka officials said. The family members had not traveled overseas.

A male elementary school pupil in Osaka Prefecture was also confirmed infected with the Omicron variant on Dec. 23.

Also on Dec. 23, the Kyoto prefectural government said a woman in her 20s was infected with the Omicron variant, and the infection route was untraceable.

Three more Omicron cases were confirmed on Dec. 24 in the prefecture. They had not traveled overseas and have been vaccinated twice, Kyoto officials said.

The Kyoto prefectural government that day started offering free polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests at seven drug stores. The government said it will make more testing locations available.