Japanese public broadcaster NHK said on Sunday that about 70% of coronavirus patients tested in a Tokyo hospital last month carried a mutation known to reduce the protective effects of vaccines.
According to the report, 1
It said that in the two months to March, 12 of the 36 COVID patients carried the mutation, but none of them had traveled abroad recently or reported contact with patients with the disease.
Hospital officials did not immediately comment on the matter.
Before the Summer Olympic Games scheduled to start in July, Japan is dealing with a new wave of infections. Health experts are particularly concerned about the spread of mutant strains, even if mass vaccination of the general population has not yet begun.
Last Friday, Tokyo reported 446 new infections, although still well below the peak of 2500 cases in January.
In Osaka, a record 666 cases were reported. Health experts are concerned about the spread of the mutant strain that has appeared on a large scale in the UK around western metropolises.
NHK said that none of the patients in the Tokyo hospital carried the British strain.
Reporting by Ritusko Ando; Editing by William Mallard