UK coronavirus variant surging in Japan

NHK -- Apr 14
Surveys by local governments in Japan show the coronavirus variant first detected in Britain is surging in the country. The variant, dubbed N501Y, is said to be more transmissible than the original coronavirus.

In Osaka Prefecture, a survey of 304 people who tested positive in the week through April 3 showed 73.7 percent, or 224, with the variant.

The proportion of people with the variant was 41.7 percent in the week through March 13, 48.6 percent through March 20 and 65 percent through March 27.

In Tokyo, 130 people, or 25.5 percent, of the 510 who tested positive in the week through Sunday were confirmed to have the variant.

The proportion was 3.1 percent in the week through March 28, but rose to 16 percent in the week through April 4. It's now up by almost another ten points.

The surveys did not cover all who were infected and they include areas with large numbers of people who've had close contact with the variant-positive.

But officials are stepping up alerts as the percentage is rising. - NHK