80 coronavirus cases confirmed at U.S. base in Yamaguchi

TOKYO (Jiji Press) — The U.S. military said Wednesday that 80 new coronavirus cases have been confirmed at its Iwakuni base in Yamaguchi Prefecture.

Whether the omicron variant of the coronavirus is responsible for any of the new positive cases at the base has not been announced.

More infections could be detected through coronavirus tests for close contacts of the new cases, according to U.S. base officials.

At an adjacent base of the Japan Air Self-Defense Force, three cases of the omicron variant were confirmed by Wednesday. One of the three cases involves a person who used a facility within the U.S. base.

The Yamaguchi prefectural government believes that the omicron cases are not community-acquired infections as their infection routes have been identified, prefectural officials said.

Meanwhile, the prefectural government of Okinawa said eight people were newly found positive for the omicron variant. One of the eight has no history of overseas travel or links with U.S. bases in Okinawa and is therefore suspected as a community-acquired case. The other seven are linked to U.S. bases.

Omicron covers half of cases

TOKYO (Jiji Press) — Foreign Ministry said Wednesday that 47% of COVID-19 cases recently found at the U.S. Marine Corps’ Camp Hansen in Okinawa Prefecture were of the omicron variant. The ministry’s announcement was based on a notification from the U.S. forces in Japan on the results of polymerase chain reaction, or PCR, tests conducted by the U.S. side.

A cluster of coronavirus infections has occurred at the camp in Okinawa. The ministry said that 272 people had tested positive for the coronavirus as of Wednesday morning.