Japan suspects first case of community spread of Omicron

FILE PHOTO: Pedestrians wearing protective face masks, amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, are seen at a shopping district in Osaka, Japan, in this photo taken by Kyodo April 7, 2021. Mandatory credit Kyodo/via REUTERS

TOKYO — Japan has found its first suspected instance of community spread infection from the Omicron variant of coronavirus, the governor of Osaka prefecture said on Wednesday.

Three cases in the prefecture of Osaka were determined to be the Omicron variant but the infection route was not clear and they did not travel abroad, Osaka Governor Hirofumi Yoshimura told a coronavirus policy meeting.


“I believe this counts as a case of community transfer. I think this will become the first in Osaka prefecture, and the first in the country,” Yoshimura said.

As Omicron fears grow, the world’s third-largest economy has tightened up border restrictions and promised to speed up booster shots.


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Prime Minister Fumio Kishida on Tuesday said its COVID-19 border controls, some of the strictest in the world, would remain in place for the time being.

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