Japan expands state of emergency to another seven regions, bans foreigners from 11 countries
Japan's health ministry announced it had detected the variant in four travellers from Brazil's Amazonas state, which had 12 mutations including one also found in highly infectious variants discovered in England and South Africa.
The four people are in their teens and 40s and were detected by the country's airport quarantine checks after arriving at Tokyo's Haneda Airport earlier this month.
The country notified the World Health Organization (WHO) on Monday and further analysis on the variant is underway.
Japan recorded 4,539 new infections on Tuesday after a record three days with more than 7,000 daily new cases, with 881 people in a serious condition.
Japan will suspend the entry of business people from 11 countries and territories into the country as part of its efforts to curb the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, Kyodo News reported on January 13.
This means Japan will not grant entry permits to all nonresident foreign nationals. ■