Coronavirus confirmed in Japanese woman for second time, after initial recovery

Pedestrians walk past a display showing information of global stock markets outside a securities office in Tokyo, Japan. EPA-EFE/KIMIMASA MAYAMA

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A Japanese woman working as a tour-bus guide in Japan has tested positive for the coronavirus for a second time, Osaka’s prefectural government said, the first known person in the country to do so amid growing concerns about the spread of the infection.

The second positive test comes as the number of confirmed cases in Japan rose to 186 by Thursday from around 170 the day before. Tokyo has urged big gatherings and sports events be scrapped or curtailed for two weeks to contain the virus while pledging the 2020 Olympic Games will still go ahead in the city.

The 186 cases reported by Japan’s health ministry are separate from 704 reported from an outbreak on the Diamond Princess cruise liner that was quarantined off Tokyo earlier this month. A total of seven people have died, including four from the ship.

Though a first known case for Japan, second positive tests have been reported in China, where the disease originated late last year. The outbreak has spread rapidly and widely, infecting about 80,000 people globally and killing nearly 2,800, the vast majority in mainland China.

The woman, a resident of Osaka, in western Japan, tested positive on Wednesday after developing a sore throat and chest pains, the prefectural government said in a statement, describing her as being in her forties. She first tested positive in late January and was discharged from hospital after recovering on Feb. 1, according to the statement.

Health Minister Katsunobu Kato said in parliament the central government would need to review patient lists and keep tabs on the condition of those previously discharged, as health experts analyzed the implications of testing positive for the virus after an initial recovery.

Read more via NHK/Reuters

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