Japan Reports First Omicron Community Transmission

Japan authorities on Wednesday reported its first community transmission of the Omicron variant of the coronavirus in Osaka Prefecture, with three people, with no history of travel overseas confirmed to have contracted the virus through unknown routes.

The three, a man and a woman in their 30s and a girl younger than ten, developed mild symptoms, such as a fever, between Saturday and Monday and were hospitalized.

“It is seen to be the first community spread in the country,” Osaka Governor Hirofumi Yoshimura said, adding that it is also possible there are other cases of community transmissions.

The Osaka government officials said they have already identified close contacts of the three people, with health authorities conducting tests and monitoring their physical conditions.

Health minister Shigeyuki Goto said the government would maintain the current border control measures for the time being to buy time to prepare measures against Omicron.

Meanwhile, the Ministry of Health, Labor, and Welfare called on all prefectural governments to strengthen measures for testing and sufficient hospital beds in preparation for a possible outbreak.

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