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TOKYO, Jan 30 — Three Japanese citizens among more than 200 on a first evacuation flight from China have tested positive for a new strain of coronavirus, Japan's health minister said today.
The three people arrived in Japan on Wednesday, on the first flight to evacuate Japanese citizens from the Chinese city of Wuhan, the epicentre of a deadly outbreak that has killed 170 people and injected thousands.
The three evacuees raise the number of cases in Japan so far to 11, including two people who appear to have contracted the virus without travelling to China.
“In addition to the eight cases, among the people who returned from Wuhan yesterday, infection (with the new coronavirus) has been confirmed in one person with symptoms and two other people who have no symptoms,” Health Minister Katsunobu Kato told parliament.
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe told lawmakers that the three returnees would be treated in a special medical facility.
The new cases come after authorities yesterday confirmed a second instance in which a person tested positive for the virus without having travelled to Japan.
The woman was a tour guide who worked on the same bus as a driver who also contracted the virus without travelling to China.
The driver told authorities he had driven two groups of tourists from Wuhan earlier in January and developed symptoms afterwards.
“The eighth case is the second suspected incident of human-to-human transmission in Japan,” Kato said.
“We are in a truly new situation.” — AFP
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