The Ministry of Health in Japan confirmed this Monday its first case of COVID-19 with the omicron XE variant. This event occurred with an asymptomatic person who landed on March 26 at Narita airport from the United States.
According to the authorities, it is a woman who had received the two doses of the Pfizer vaccine, did not present any symptoms and had embarked with the regulatory negative test to enter the Asian country, but her test at the airport yielded a positive result.
The patient infected with this new variant of COVID-19 was isolated in an accommodation designated by the Japanese authorities until she completed her quarantine.
Genetic sequencing analyzes from the National Institute of Diseases determined that the woman’s samples corresponded to the omicron XE variant, a combination of the original BA.1 strain and the BA.2 subvariant that occurs when someone contracts both at the same time. and that it is more contagious, although its severity is under study.
“More information needs to be collected to determine its spread characteristics and the severity of the disease. We will closely monitor the movement of this mutation and test while we listen to the scientific information that comes out and observe the situation in other countries, “said the Japanese government spokesman, Hirokazu Matsuno, when asked at a press conference.
Matsuno noted that while they will remain vigilant, the case has been detected at the airport, “but has not yet been detected within Japan” at the community level.
Japan shows a rise in the number of cases
Japanese authorities recorded more than 337,000 new covid cases last week , a slight increase from the previous week.
Since the beginning of the pandemic, the country has registered more than 7 million infections and 28,697 deaths linked to the pathogen.
The combined omicron XE variant was first identified in the UK last January. Until last April 5, some 1,100 cases of this variant had been detected in that country, less than 1% of the infections in the territory.
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