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Japan finds new strain of coronavirus in passengers arriving from Brazil

Japan's health ministry said its tough to immediately determine how infectious the strain is or the effectiveness of current available vaccines against it.

Japan, which is already grappling with soaring cases of the Wuhan coronavirus might be in for new trouble. The country’s Health Ministry has now found a new strain of Coronavirus in four passengers arriving from Brazil.

The information about the new variant of the pathogen is limited to its genetic make-up, and it’s tough to immediately determine how infectious the strain is or the effectiveness of current available vaccines against it, Japan’s National Institute of Infectious Diseases said in a statement.

While some news reports suggest that this mutated strain bears similarities to those found in the UK and South Africa, some have reported otherwise.

Meanwhile, Japan’s institute, in a separate statement, confirmed that the 4 passengers, who were diagnosed being infected with the variant of the virus, had arrived at Japan’s Haneda airport from Brazil on January 2. One of the four was asymptomatic. The man, who was in his 40s was admitted to the hospital after his respiratory problems increased.

According to a local newspaper, the NIID informed the World Health Organization of this new strain and are now investigating if the variant causes more severe cases.

Meanwhile, the UK and South Africa had also reported the emergence of new strains of the Wuhan coronavirus last month. While the authorities in the United Kingdom had confirmed the new strain of the pathogen on December 21 2020, South Africa broke the news of identifying a new variant of the novel coronavirus on December 25, 2020.

With this highly transmissible new variant of the virus surging across Britain, Prime Minister Boris Johnson has imposed a third national lockdown in England – its most populous region – to try to stem the pandemic before the most vulnerable are immunised.

India’s health ministry on Saturday also said that the total number of cases of the mutant strain of Covid-19 in India, first found in the United Kingdom, has gone up to 90. Govt of India had confirmed that the current vaccines will work against the Covid-19 variants detected in the UK and South Africa.

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Staff reporter at OpIndia

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