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Japan confirms cases of new UK coronavirus variant

Japan confirms cases of new UK coronavirus variant

People look at a holiday season display and listen to music on Christmas Day in Tokyo on Friday, Dec 25, 2020. (AP Photo/Hiro Komae)

TOKYO: Japan’s health ministry has confirmed the country’s first cases of infection with the new variant of the coronavirus that was identified in Britain.

The five people arrived between Dec 18 and Dec 21, before Japan stepped up border control on Friday (Dec 25) for entrants from Britain. A man in his 60s developed fatigue, but the other four were without symptoms.

Health Minister Norihisa Tamura said the five were sent to quarantine straight from the airports.

After they tested positive for the virus, further analysis conducted at the National Institute of Infectious Diseases determined they had the British variant that is 70 per cent more transmissible, the ministry said in a statement.

Shigeru Omi, head of a government taskforce, called for tighter border control to prevent new variants.

READ: Singapore confirms 1 COVID-19 case carrying UK virus strain, 11 others 'preliminarily positive'

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Source: AP/ta

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