Japan confirms first case of Omicron variant


Japan has confirmed its first case of the Omicron variant of the COVID-19 in the country, the Japanese government said Tuesday.

The health ministry said, “The infected person is a man in his 30s arriving from Namibia who tested positive for COVID-19 upon his arrival at the Narita international airport near Tokyo on Sunday.

“The man had no symptoms when being at the airport but developed a fever on Monday, while two family members traveling with him have tested negative and are quarantined at a government-designated facility.”

Prime Minister, Fumio Kishida met with cabinet members including Health Minister Shigeyuki Goto to discuss how the government will respond to the detection of the Omicron strain in Japan, which has seen a decline in COVID-19 cases.

Japan has already taken such stricter measures on people who have recently been to any of the nine African countries, Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

Japan will also suspend the recent easing of entry restrictions beginning Nov. 8, which has allowed vaccinated business travellers to have a shorter quarantine period and started to accept entry applications from students and technical interns on the condition that their host organization agrees to take the responsibility of monitoring their movement.

Starting on Wednesday, the country will also set its daily cap for arrivals at 3,500, down from 5,000. Returning Japanese citizens and foreign residents will be required to isolate for two weeks regardless of whether they are fully vaccinated.

On Monday, 82 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 were recorded across Japan, a low figure being likely a result of a drop in testing over the weekend. The previous wave of infections caused by the Delta variant in summer saw a peak at more than 25,000 daily cases.

READ ALSO: Japan considers further border controls over omicron variant



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