Japanese health officials have claimed the new variant of the virus discovered in their country has similarities to that of the highly-contagious strains in the UK and South Africa. The new strain was detected on passengers who had disembarked from a plane that had arrived from Brazil. Japanese news outlet Nikkei Asia said the passengers arrived at Haneda Airport in Tokyo on Saturday, January 2.
Three out of the four passengers who are infected with the new variant have presented symptoms including breathing difficulties, a fever, and a sore throat.
Japan’s National Institute of Infectious Diseases, NIID, stated on Sunday that they are still investigating its genetic make-up.
The institute said it was difficult to determine how infectious the new variant is and whether vaccines will be effective against it.
Japan’s Ministry of Health said the four passengers had arrived in Japan on January 2.
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Japan has recently seen more than 7,000 new cases a day.
In the nation’s capital, Tokyo, daily new infections are regularly topping 2,000.
The Japanese Ministry of Health said it had confidence there would be no further infections.
They two individuals who contracted the virus from this man had no contact with large numbers of people except at this meal.