Japan finds new coronavirus variant in travellers from Brazil

TOKYO (Reuters) - A new coronavirus variant has been detected in four travellers from Brazil's Amazonas state, Japan's Health Ministry said on Sunday, the latest new mutation of the virus discovered. A ministry official said studies were underway into the efficacy of vaccines against the new variant, which differs from highly infectious variants first found in Britain and South Africa that have driven a surge in cases

Reuters January 11, 2021 00:11:03 IST
Japan finds new coronavirus variant in travellers from Brazil

coronavirus variant in travellers from Brazil" src="https://images.firstpost.com/wp-content/uploads/reuters/01-2021/11/2021-01-10T092417Z_1_LYNXMPEH09070_RTROPTP_2_HEALTH-CORONAVIRUS-JAPAN.jpg" alt="Japan finds new coronavirus variant in travellers from Brazil" width="300" height="225" />

TOKYO (Reuters) - A new coronavirus variant has been detected in four travellers from Brazil's Amazonas state, Japan's Health Ministry said on Sunday, the latest new mutation of the virus discovered.

A ministry official said studies were underway into the efficacy of vaccines against the new variant, which differs from highly infectious variants first found in Britain and South Africa that have driven a surge in cases.

"At the moment, there is no proof showing the new variant found in those from Brazil is high in infectiousness," Takaji Wakita, head of the National Institute of Infectious Diseases, told a health ministry briefing.

Still, Brazil's health regulator Anvisa said it has been notified by Japan's authorities that the new variant has 12 mutations, and one of them has already been identified also in the variants found in the United Kingdom and in South Africa. "It implies in a potential higher virus infectiousness," it said.

Of the four travellers who arrived at Tokyo's Haneda airport on Jan. 2, a man in his forties had a problem breathing, a woman in her thirties had a headache and sore throat and a man in his teens had a fever, while a woman in her teens showed no symptoms, the health ministry said.

All travellers are in quarantine at Tokyo's airport, Anvisa said.

After seeing a steep rise in coronavirus cases, Japan declared a state of emergency for Tokyo and three prefectures neighbouring the capital on Thursday.

Nationwide cases have totalled about 289,000, with 4,061 deaths, public broadcaster NHK said.

(Reporting by Kiyoshi Takenaka, in Tokyo, and Ricardo Brito, in Brasilia; Editing by Barbara Lewis and Lisa Shumaker)

This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.

Updated Date:

TAGS:

Find latest and upcoming tech gadgets online on Tech2 Gadgets. Get technology news, gadgets reviews & ratings. Popular gadgets including laptop, tablet and mobile specifications, features, prices, comparison.

also read

Tech platforms block Trump, with Facebook's Zuckerberg saying risk 'too great'
News & Analysis

Tech platforms block Trump, with Facebook's Zuckerberg saying risk 'too great'

By Elizabeth Culliford and Katie Paul (Reuters) -Facebook Inc said it would block U.S.

Stocks, U.S. yields climb after Democrats win control of the Senate
Business

Stocks, U.S. yields climb after Democrats win control of the Senate

By Rodrigo Campos NEW YORK (Reuters) -Bond prices dropped and stocks hit record highs on Thursday as investors bet Democratic control of the U.S.

Oil hits 11-month highs on Saudi cuts, shrugs off U.S. turmoil
Business

Oil hits 11-month highs on Saudi cuts, shrugs off U.S. turmoil

By Laura Sanicola NEW YORK (Reuters) -Oil prices settled higher on Thursday, hitting 11-month peaks, as markets remained focused on Saudi Arabia's unexpected pledge to deepen its oil cuts and firmer equities, shrugging off political turmoil in the United States. Brent crude settled up 8 cents to $54.38 a barrel after touching $54.90, a high not seen since before the first COVID-19 lockdowns in the West