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Japan reports new COVID-19 strain

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— AFP/File

Japan on Monday detected a new COVID-19 strain, Anadolu Agency reported, saying that it was different from the one that has emerged in UK and South Africa. 

According to Japanese broadcaster NHK, the health ministry said the new variant was found in four people who arrived at Tokyo’s Haneda Airport earlier this month. The infected are aged between teens and 40s and all of them have travel history to Brazil’s Amazonas state.

Tokyo has been reporting over 1,000 COVID-19 infections for the past seven days as its cumulative tally crossed 76,000 on Monday. Greater Tokyo has been under a state of emergency since January 7 as Japanese PM Yoshihide Sugar said the “situation has become increasingly troubling.”

Previously, five people with UK travel history had tested positive for the new variant, which is said to be 70% more contagious. However, there is yet no evidence if it is more deadly.

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