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Wednesday, April 21, 2021

New COVID-19 “Eek” Variant Discovered in Japan, Causes Alarm

Japan reported a new outbreak from the E484K mutation of the coronavirus, nicknamed ‘Eek’ by scientists which is known for reducing vaccine effectiveness.

Originally discovered in the UK, the new E484K mutation was reportedly found in 10 out of 14 Covid-19 patients at the Tokyo Medical and Dental University Hospital last month and totaled 36 all over the country.

According to an NHK report, 12 of 36 COVID-19 patients carried the mutation but had not recently traveled abroad or had contact with people who had it. 

Most of the Eek cases were reported around Osaka and is highly contagious.

More than 1,500 new cases were reported Monday, including 249 in Tokyo.

In response to the recent surge of cases, Osaka and two other prefectures in Japan increased COVID regulations.

“More and more people are coming out both during the day and at night. We will see the effect of this in a week or two. Given the situation, I’m afraid something similar to what’s happening in Osaka could happen in Tokyo,” explained government advisory panel chief Omi Shigeru.

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