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Japan confirms first omicron variant case, with patient admitted to hospital

The patient, a male in his 30s, tested positive upon arriving at Narita airport on Sunday, according to Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirokazu Matsuno.

Japan confirms first omicron variant case, with patient admitted to hospital
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A visitor who recently arrived from Namibia was confirmed as the first instance of the novel omicron coronavirus variety in Japan on Tuesday, according to an official.

The patient, a male in his 30s, tested positive upon arriving at Narita airport on Sunday, according to Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirokazu Matsuno. He was isolated and is being treated at a hospital. Matsuno refused to reveal his nationality, citing privacy concerns.

He was infected with the novel variation, which was originally found in South Africa, according to a genomic analysis at the National Institute of Infectious Diseases on Tuesday.

His travel companions and others in close seats have been identified, and Japanese health authorities have been notified for further investigation. Two of the patient's relatives tested negative, according to Japanese media, and have been confined in a government facility near Narita airport.

According to Matsuno, the government would maintain rigorous border restrictions and increase its capability for genetic investigations of the new variety.

Japan stated on Monday that all foreign visitors will be barred from entering the country beginning Tuesday as an emergency precaution against the variation, which will last until the end of the year. Japanese nationals and foreigners with residency permits must also quarantine for 14 days after entering the country.

According to early research, the global risk from the omicron variety is "very high," and it might lead to surges with "severe consequences," according to the World Health Organization.

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