The Japanese Ministry of Health reported the first confirmed case of the COVID-19 lambda variant, according to local media.
The case of the novel coronavirus variant, first described in Peru, was detected in a woman in her 30s who arrived at Tokyo’s Haneda Airport on July 20, three days before the Olympics’ opening ceremony, after traveling to Peru.
She tested positive for the coronavirus in a quarantine check at the airport, with no symptoms.
The the National Institute of Infectious Diseases confirmed the findings.
The lambda variant was first identified in Peru in August 2020, according to the World Health Organization. Cases with the variant have now been identified in 28 countries, according to GISAID — though many of those have identified only a handful of lambda cases.
The lambda variant carries a number of mutations with suspected implications, such as potential increased transmissibility or possible increased resistance to neutralizing antibodies, the WHO says. But it says the full extent of those mutations’ impact isn’t yet well understood and will need further study.
In a follow-up on the COVID-19 situation in Tokyo, 4,566 new cases of coronavirus infection were confirmed Saturday.
The number of infected people per day exceeds 4000 for 4 consecutive days. The average number of newly infected people over the last 7 days was 3893, 133.3% of the previous week. Four people died.