Japan confirms 1st case of omicron variant

Headlines 18:32 30 Nov, 2021

Namibian man tests positive for heavily mutated coronavirus variant

Japan confirms 1st case of omicron variant

Japan on Tuesday confirmed the first case of omicron, the heavily mutated coronavirus variant, just a day after reinstating the travel ban on foreigners.

“A Namibian man in his 30s has been found to be infected with the heavily mutated variant after he tested positive for the coronavirus at Narita Airport near Tokyo upon his arrival on Sunday,” Kyodo News reported.

Prime Minister Fumio Kishida on Monday announced to reinstate a ban on foreigners entering the country due to concerns about the new omicron variant.

Kishida had referred to this person who tested positive last Sunday but findings of the tests were pending then.

“It [ban] is to avoid the worst-case scenario,” Kishida said.

Japan imposed a ban on the entry of foreigners after the pandemic hit the world last year. The ban was eased early this month on Nov. 8.

No new foreign arrivals were reported at the Narita Airport on Tuesday after the ban was announced.

The ban comes after South African scientists announced last week that they had discovered the omicron variant, which has several mutations that may carry the risk of reinfection.

“It is a temporary measure until information about the omicron variant becomes clear,” the prime minister added.

Japan has reported more than 1.727 million COVID-19 cases, including 18,359 deaths.