NAHA: A new coronavirus variant spreading in the United States has been found in a patient in Okinawa Prefecture, southernmost Japan, the prefectural government said Friday.
It is the first time that a variant containing the L452R mutation has been detected in Japan, excluding cases found through airport quarantine, according to the prefectural government.
The variant was contained in specimens sent to the National Institute of Infectious Diseases in Tokyo in January-March, it said.
The Okinawa government did not disclose the patient’s age, sex or area of residence.
The patient has had no contacts with people who returned from overseas recently or people related to US military personnel in Okinawa, it said.
The variant, believed to be 20 percent more transmissible than conventional strains, has been found in many people in California.