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Japanese authorities fear COVID-19 variants could result in fourth wave

Author : Pankaj Singh | Published Date : 2021-04-06 

With just three months until the Tokyo Olympics, health authorities in Japan are fearing that the Coronavirus variants could fuel the fourth wave in the pandemic, cited sources with knowledge of the matter.

These variants seem to be more infectious and could be resistant to COVID-19 vaccines, which are yet to be widely available in the country.

Osaka, a port city in Japan, has also hit fresh records last week, compelling the regional government to impose lockdown measures for a month starting Monday. First discovered in Britain, a mutant COVID-19 variant has been spreading significantly faster in Osaka, further increasing the hospitalization rates.

For those unaware, Japan has already declared a state of emergency twice in the last year, with the pandemic’s third wave hitting the country at the beginning of 2021.

Sources confirmed that officials are planning to deploy targeted measures that could enable local governments to reduce business hours and enforce fines for noncompliance.

Osaka had initially declared to have canceled the Olympic Torch relays. However, Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga intends to carry out the multi-sport event as scheduled.

It is also worth mentioning that Tokyo has recorded around 250 new infections this week, although still well below its previous record of 2,500 infections in January. The tally was 341 in Osaka as compared to 666 cases recorded last week.

While the true extent of the mutant cases is yet to be known, only a small fraction of COVID-19 cases have undergone the genomic study to find the variants.

According to the health ministry report, around 678 variants from Brazil, Britain, and South Africa have been discovered in Japan, with the biggest clusters observed in Osaka. All these variants have a similar N501Y mutation, with the latter two consisting of the E484K mutation as well.

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About Author

Pankaj Singh

Pankaj Singh

Endowed with a post graduate degree in management and finance, Pankaj Singh has been a part of the online content domain for quite a while. Having worked previously as a U.K. insurance underwriter for two years, he now writes articles for fractovia.org and other online portals. He can be contacted at- [email protected] | https://twitter.com/PankajSingh2605

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