Japan notified Brazil's Ministry of Health on Saturday (9) that it had identified a new strain of the novel coronavirus in four travelers who arrived in Tokyo from the Amazon.
According to information provided to the Ministry of Health by the Japanese health authorities, the new variant has 12 mutations, one of which is found in variants already identified in the United Kingdom and South Africa, implying a greater potential for transmission of the virus.
There is, however, no scientific evidence to suggest that new variants would impact the effectiveness of laboratory diagnoses or vaccines against Covid-19.
The Brazilian passengers arrived in the Japanese capital on January 2 after a stint in the Amazon. They developed mild symptoms and are in quarantine in Tokyo.
Of the four travelers, a man in his 40s had breathing problems, a woman in her 30s reported a headache and sore throat, and a teenager had a fever. The other Brazilian, a teenager, had no symptoms.
Translated by Kiratiana Freelon