By The Associated Press

TOKYO — The Japanese Health Ministry has found a coronavirus variant in people arriving from Brazil that’s different from the ones in Britain and South Africa.

The variant was found in airport tests on a man in his 40s, a woman in her 30s and two teens, the ministry said Sunday. Japan was working with other nations, the WHO and other medical experts to analyze the new version of the virus, and it was still unclear whether available vaccines would work.

The man who tested positive had no symptoms upon arrival but was hospitalized after his breathing became difficult. The woman suffered head aches, one teen, a male, had a fever, while the other female teen had no symptoms, according to the ministry.

About 30 cases of variants from Britain and South Africa have earlier been reported in Japan. Experts are worried the variants appear to spread faster.

Japan has declared a state of emergency for the Tokyo area, which kicked in Friday, asking restaurants and bars to close at 8 p.m. Some have complained that’s not enough, noting train stations and eateries are still packed, including at night.

Japan has had about 4,000 deaths related to COVID-19 so far, and more than 280,000 confirmed cases.

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THE VIRUS OUTBREAK:

— California reports record one-day total of 695 coronavirus deaths

— UK PM Boris Johnson under fire as Britain again faces onslaught of COVID-19

— Overwhelmed hospitals in Ukraine see the consequences of widespread New Year’s festivities

— Israelis protest Netanyahu amid third virus lockdown

— Nightly curfew for pandemic takes effect across Quebec

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Follow AP’s coverage at https://apnews.com/hub/coronavirus-pandemic, https://apnews.com/hub/coronavirus-vaccine and https://apnews.com/UnderstandingtheOutbreak

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HERE’S WHAT ELSE IS HAPPENING:

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MEXICO CITY — The spokesman for Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador said Sunday he has tested positive for coronavirus, but there was no word on whether the president had been tested.

Spokesman Jesús Ramírez Cuevas wrote on his Twitter account “I am in good health and I will be working from home.”

Ramírez Cuevas is close to López Obrador, often handing him documents or going on trips with the president.

López Obrador is 67 and has high blood pressure, but almost never wears a mask.

On Sunday, López Obrador toured the Pacific coast seaport of Manzanillo and gave a speech, as usual without a mask on.

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JOHANNESBURG — Africa passed the milestone of 3 million confirmed cases COVID-19 Sunday, including more than 72,000 deaths, according to the Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

South Africa accounts for more than 30% of the continent’s total with more than 1.2 million reported cases, including 32,824 deaths. The high proportion of cases in South Africa could be because the country carries out more tests than many other African countries.

South Africa is battling a resurgence of the disease, driven by a variant of the virus that is more contagious and spreading quickly. Many hospitals are reaching capacity, yet the numbers of those infected are expected to continue rising, according to health experts.

South Africa’s 7-day rolling average of daily new cases has risen over the past two weeks from 19.86 new cases per 100,000 …read more

Source:: Los Angeles Daily News

      

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