Coronavirus pandemic and Omicron variant information

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Okinawa Gov. Denny Tamaki speaks at a press conference at the prefectural government headquarters in Naha, southern Japan, on Jan. 2, 2022. The governor criticized the U.S. military over many COVID-19 cases at its bases in Okinawa, citing them as one of the factors behind the spread of coronavirus infections in the prefecture.
Okinawa Gov. Denny Tamaki speaks at a press convention on the prefectural authorities headquarters in Naha, southern Japan, on Jan. 2, 2022. The governor criticized the U.S. navy over many COVID-19 instances at its bases in Okinawa, citing them as one of many elements behind the unfold of coronavirus infections within the prefecture. (Kyodo Information/Getty Photographs)

A neighborhood governor in Japan has blasted the US navy for failing to comprise the unfold of coronavirus within the nation’s southernmost prefecture of Okinawa, which is residence to a number of US bases.

“I’m outraged as a result of the rise within the variety of contaminated amongst US navy personnel means that their administration shouldn’t be sufficient,” Denny Tamaki, Okinawa’s prefectural governor, stated in a press convention Sunday. 

Okinawa Prefecture reported 130 new Covid-19 instances on Monday — the very best single-day whole since September 25 final 12 months, a prefectural official advised CNN.

Over the previous week, the prefecture has averaged 17.37 new infections per 100,000 folks, the worst ratio within the nation. The official stated these numbers don’t embrace infections amongst US navy personnel in Okinawa. 

Okinawa Prefecture confirmed its first Omicron variant case on December 17, 2021, and initiated free PCR checks for base staff and prefectural residents shortly afterward, the official stated.

As of January 3, 88 instances of the Omicron variant have been confirmed, and 112 suspected instances reported, the official stated.

In keeping with the Okinawa authorities knowledge, a complete of three,699 US navy personnel in Okinawa have examined constructive with coronavirus as of Monday. US forces confirmed a report 235 new infections final Friday amongst personnel stationed in Okinawa prefecture, in response to native authorities knowledge. 

Of these examined in Okinawa, roughly 47% had been presumptive Omicron positives, US Forces Japan (USFJ) advised CNN in an electronic mail.

The Nationwide Institute of Infectious Illness in Tokyo carried out genome evaluation of Covid-19 instances amongst US navy personnel in Okinawa’s Camp Hansen, and confirmed the Omicron variant was discovered there, in response to an announcement launched Sunday by the Okinawa prefectural authorities.

Nevertheless, the Okinawa prefectural authorities claims US authorities haven’t supplied info on the precise variety of Omicron infections.

Tamaki blamed US navy personnel for spreading the Omicron variant to native communities, and renewed his name Sunday for US navy authorities to enact strict measures to comprise the virus. 

“Many contaminated individuals are nonetheless confirmed on daily basis within the US navy. We consider it is very important cease the an infection within the US navy and for the residents within the prefecture to keep away from contact with them to curb the unfold of the an infection within the prefecture,” stated Tamaki, the Okinawa governor, within the press convention. 

For its half, USFJ stated it’s working to comprise the outbreak.

“We take critically our tasks to guard not solely our personnel, but in addition the encircling communities,” USFJ stated. “We’ve positioned all COVID-19 contaminated personnel into isolation and aggressive contact tracing has allowed us to position shut contacts into quarantine.”

In response to the elevated Covid-19 unfold in Okinawa, Marine Forces Japan reinstituted masks mandates for everybody on-base no matter vaccination standing on December 23, in response to a publish on the Marine Corps Neighborhood Service web site.

Nevertheless, the mandate doesn’t apply to these consuming or actively exercising, together with indoor cardio, organized athletics and sports activities. 

USFJ stated it requires three unfavorable Covid-19 checks for these touring to Japan and a 14-day “restriction of motion” upon arrival.

Final 12 months, two US Marine bases in Okinawa — together with Camp Hansen — had been put into lockdown and restrictions imposed at different bases within the area, in response to Kyodo Information.

USFJ stated it will proceed to observe and modify Covid-19 mitigation measures in cooperation with Japanese authorities.

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