Japan confirms first case of Omicron variant

Japan has confirmed its first case of the Omicron coronavirus variant after a test on a visitor who recently arrived from Namibia in southern Africa.

hief cabinet secretary Hirokazu Matsuno said the man in his 30s tested positive on arrival at an airport on Sunday and was isolated and is being treated in hospital.

A genome analysis confirmed that he was infected with the new variant, which was first identified in South Africa.

Japan announced on Monday that it will ban all foreign visitors from Tuesday as an emergency precaution against the variant.


Japan Airlines planes sit on the tarmac at Haneda international airport in Tokyo( Koji Sasahara/AP)

The World Health Organisation warned on Monday that the global risk from the Omicron variant is “very high” based on the early evidence, saying it could lead to surges with “severe consequences”.

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