Fukuoka reports suspected community-acquired omicron case

Fukuoka/Kyoto/Osaka (Jiji Press) — The Fukuoka prefectural government said Saturday that a man in his 20s in the southwestern Japan prefecture has been confirmed to have the omicron variant of the novel coronavirus.

With the infection route unknown for the man, this is believed to be a community-acquired case, according to the prefectural government. This is the first confirmed omicron case in Fukuoka.

Six people, including relatives of the man, have been designated as close contacts, the prefectural government said, adding that all of them have tested negative for the coronavirus in polymerase chain reaction tests.

The man has no record of overseas trips, but visited the western Japan prefectures of Osaka, Kyoto and Okayama for three days through Monday. Community-acquired omicron cases have already been confirmed in Osaka and Kyoto.

The man had a fever of 39.5 C on Wednesday. Later, a genome analysis confirmed his infection with omicron. He is unvaccinated against COVID-19 and is now hospitalized. His condition is improving.

Following the confirmation of the omicron case, the Fukuoka government will begin free coronavirus screening at five locations in the prefecture from Sunday for anyone hoping to get tested.

In Kyoto, four more people, in their 40s to 70s, were found with the omicron variant. None of them has been abroad. One of the four was a close contact of a person infected with the omicron variant, and the other three are community-acquired cases.

All four people have been vaccinated twice, and their symptoms are mild.

In Osaka, community-acquired omicron cases were newly confirmed for two people, both men in their 20s.

Six people related to one of them, including relatives, were recognized to have had close contact with the infected man. The Osaka prefectural government will conduct PCR tests on the six people.