New Covid variant found in Japan: the country to isolate the new strain and analyze it

Published by Caroline J. · Published on 12 January 2021 at 09h36 · Updated on 12 January 2021 at 14h32
As people grow hopeful thanks to vaccines, a new coronavirus variant has been found in the world. This new strain of the virus has been found in Japan in several people coming from Brazil. The country is working on isolating the new strain of the virus to analyze it. Here is more on the matter.

There are more and more coronavirus mutations. After the English variant that starts worrying the French health authorities following several cases reported in the country, then the South-African variant, said to be even more contagious, a new strain of Covid-19 has just been found in the world.

This January 11, 2021 Japan has announced to have found a new variant different from the previous two. This new mutation of coronavirus has been identified in people back in the country since January 2 after a stay in Brazil. All in all, four people including two children have bene contaminated by the new variant of Covid-19. Japan did not specify their nationality.

After quick analyses, these mutations end up being mostly similar to the variants found in the United-Kingdom and South-Africa. For now, scientists from Japan's National Institute of Infectious Diseases explained they know very little on this new strain. Therefore, it is not known yet if this new mutation is more contagious than the others, and even less if vaccines developed to fight against coronavirus are effective. Yet, this variant found in Japan has the country fear a surge in new infections.

As of January 12, the Japanese authorities said they want to isolate this new variant to in-depth analyze it. “In order to further analyze the variant, we need to isolate it first”, a health ministry official told AFP. “It could take weeks and even months […]. It's hard to say right now when we can release the details” on the variant, he added.

As for the WHO director general, he warned: “the more the virus spreads, the higher the chance of new changes to the virus."

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