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Japan suspends new reservations on all incoming flights – Honolulu, Hawaii

Honolulu, Hawaii 2021-12-01 12:30:00 –

Tokyo >> Japan has requested international airlines to suspend new bookings for all flights arriving in Japan until the end of December. coronavirus Variant, the Ministry of Transport said on Wednesday.

Amid growing concerns about the spread of new Omicron variants, he said the request was an urgent precaution.

According to the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism, it will not affect those who have already made a reservation, but it may be canceled if there are not enough passengers. Transit passengers are also unaffected, it said. Japan is a major transportation hub to and from Asia.

This move occurs the day after Japan reports the first case in a Namibian diplomat, when it sees a second case of an Omicron variant in a person arriving from Peru via Doha.

The second fully vaccinated patient tested positive for coronavirus when he arrived on Sunday and was quarantined during genetic sequencing. He was initially asymptomatic, but later developed fever and sore throat, officials said.

The remaining 114 passengers in flight are all negative and are monitored by health authorities, most of them in government-designated facilities.

Japan has banned all foreign visitors from Tuesday. Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said the measure was an emergency precaution against new varieties. The ban will be tentatively extended until the end of the year. The government also requires Japanese arriving in the country to be quarantined for up to 14 days.

The World Health Organization warned on Monday that the global risk of Omicron mutants was “very high,” based on early evidence, and said it could lead to a surge with “serious consequences.”

As some health officials suspect, there are many new variants, such as whether it is more contagious, whether it makes people more seriously ill, and whether it can block the vaccine. Remains unknown.

Narita International Airport, which operates Japan’s major international airports near Tokyo, said it was not aware of any immediate changes to arriving flights in response to the announcement.

This decision was disappointing for those planning a trip during the holiday season, including Japanese living abroad who want to return home during the New Year holidays.

Many on social media have criticized this measure as being too strict, and some have compared it to Japan’s feudal state isolation policy.

Japan has eased social and economic activity since September after a rapid slowdown in infections.

Meanwhile, Japan began offering coronavirus vaccine booster shots to healthcare professionals on Wednesday amid growing concerns about new variants.

Japan’s first vaccination drive began in mid-February, with some healthcare workers who were fired more than nine months ago hoping for further protection ahead of a possible wave of new infections. is.

A group of nurses and doctors received a booster shot at the Tokyo Medical Center.

“It is an important first step for patients and their families to receive treatment with peace of mind,” said Kazuhiro Araki, director of the hospital.

The effectiveness of the vaccine against new variants is still under investigation, but booster shots are important. This is because the vaccine will continue to be effective against other strains of the virus, including Delta, which will put a lot of pressure on the Japanese medical system this summer.

Those who received a second shot eight months ago are eligible for a third shot to prevent breakthrough infections. If the infection recurs, eligibility could be reduced to six months, officials said.

The development of vaccination in Japan has made a slow start, but has surged since late May, and now about 77% of the population is completely vaccinated. Experts cite the steady slowdown in Japanese infections since September.

Booster shots for the elderly who received the first vaccination from April are scheduled to start in January.



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