Newest Covid variant slips into Delta-freed Japan — Analysis

Japan reports its first Omicron-related coronavirus infection on Tuesday, after having largely defeated the Delta variant. Media reported that the patient was a Namibian diplomat.

The infection was detected in a man in his 30s, who has arrived from Namibia, Japan’s Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirokazu Matsuno said, as quoted by Reuters. Matsuno stated that the patient was currently in a hospital. He declined to name the person’s nationality. 

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Japan Times quoted a government source saying that the patient was a Namibian diplomat, who had tested positive for Covid-19 after landing in Tokyo at Narita Airport on Sunday.

Japan closed its borders on Tuesday for all foreigners to avoid spreading Omicron. Scientists believe it may have a higher spread rate and be less resistant to vaccines than Delta.

Omicron was discovered for the first time in Botswana on this date. It was then designated by WHO as an Omicron variant of concern.

This new strain spread throughout southern Africa, and it has now reached Europe and North America.

Tokyo was able to reduce daily cases of Delta varietals by half in the past due to strict Covid regulations and high vaccination rates.



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