UK Coronavirus Strain Becoming More Prevalent in Japan, Investigation in Kobe City Says

The share of the UK coronavirus variant among COVID-19 cases confirmed in Japan over the past two months has steadily increased, according to an investigation launched in the city of Kobe.

The investigation, referred to by the NHK broadcaster on Tuesday, revealed that the UK strain was not present among coronavirus cases confirmed in 1-28 January. In the week starting from 29 January, the UK variant was confirmed in 8 out of 173 people who tested positive for COVID-19 and were studied as part of the Kobe probe.

In the week starting from 12 February, the UK coronavirus variant accounted for 15.2% of the COVID-19 cases confirmed in that period (12 out of 79 people).

The NHK broadcaster said on Tuesday that Kobe authorities plan to boost measures aimed at tracking down the UK strain in Japan.

Last week, Belgian health authorities revealed that the UK coronavirus variant accounted for over half of COVID-19 cases registered in Belgium in recent days.

Meanwhile, a German government spokesman said at the start of last week that the British variant accounted for almost a quarter of new coronavirus cases in Germany.

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