Japan likely records local transmission of UK COVID variant

19 Janvier, 2021, 21:44 | Auteur: Yves Courtet
  • An elderly couple arrive to attend a Covid-19 vaccination centre

The Shizuoka Prefectural Government issued a coronavirus "emergency warning" on Tuesday, a day after three cases of infections with a new variant of the virus were confirmed in the prefecture.

The health ministry said Monday that the mutated strain of COVID-19 first detected in Britain had been confirmed in three people in Japan with no history of visiting the United Kingdom. The ministry says the people have no recent history of overseas travel and no known contact with people infected with the variant.

The three, aged from their 20s to their 60s and living in Shizuoka prefecture, about 200 km (125 miles) west of Tokyo, first had symptoms in early January, the ministry said.

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This is the first time that people who have never been to Britain and whose infection routes are unclear were confirmed to be infected with the variant. They are now convalescing at home. The other patient, a woman in her 40s, had close contact with the woman in her 20s.

While the virus strain found in the United Kingdom appears to be up to 70% more transmittable, it is said that there is no evidence it is more deadly or causes more serious sickness. That strain is believed to be more contagious than conventional coronavirus ones, though many questions remain unanswered.

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