• Coronavirus

Japanese worker at U.S. base in Okinawa infected with omicron

NAHA (Jiji Press) — The Okinawa prefectural government said Friday that a Japanese worker at the U.S. military forces’ Camp Hansen in the prefecture has been found infected with the omicron variant of the novel coronavirus.

At the base, 99 U.S. soldiers had been confirmed to be infected with the coronavirus as of Friday.

The prefectural government is trying to find out how the worker in his 50s caught the variant, saying that it is very likely he was infected in the base.

The worker is the first confirmed omicron case in the prefecture.

According to the prefectural government, the man, who lives in the city of Uruma, was found positive for the virus Tuesday in a PCR test conducted the day before. He began to show symptoms including fever on Sunday.

The worker was confirmed to be infected with the omicron variant Friday. He had been vaccinated against the virus.

Genomic analyses are being conducted on a different person related to the base and the person’s close contact. The two may also have the omicron variant.

The infected soldiers are being quarantined in Okinawa after arriving from the United States. They did not fly on a civilian aircraft.

Whether the soldiers have the omicron variant is unknown since there are no institutions in the base that can conduct genomic analyses.

Through the Foreign Ministry, the prefectural government requested that the United States conduct genome analyses and prohibit U.S. soldiers from leaving the base.