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Japan finds new coronavirus variant in travellers from Brazil

TOKYO: A new coronavirus variant was detected in four travellers from Brazil, Japan's Health Ministry said yesterday, marking an advance in changes to the pandemic virus.

The new variant is different from those first found in Britain and South Africa, although the three of them share some common mutation, said head of the National Institute of Infectious Diseases Takaji Wakita.

"I understand a new variant that is different from Britain's and South Africa's has been found," he told a Health Ministry briefing.

Characteristics of the new variant, such as how effective vaccines can be against it and how serious its symptoms can be, are being studied, a Health Ministry official said.

Meanwhile Tokyo reported 1,494 cases yesterday, the lowest since Tuesday. - REUTERS

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