Japanese girl returns home without waiting for Covid-19 test results, is confirmed infected

Japanese residents wearing face masks walking along on a street in Tokyo.
PHOTO: AFP

An additional 39 people in Japan were confirmed on Saturday to be infected with the novel coronavirus.

In one case, a girl between 10 and 19 who had returned from Spain was confirmed to be positive for the virus after returning to her home in Okinawa Prefecture. She left the airport before the results of a virus test conducted at a quarantine station came out.

According to the Okinawa prefectural government, the girl travelled to Spain on March 13 with five others, including her family, and returned to Japan on the morning of March 20.

The quarantine station at Narita Airport collected her test sample as she had returned from an area of viral outbreak. She was asked to wait at the airport, but she took a domestic flight to Naha Airport before the result came out.

According to the Health, Labour and Welfare Ministry, failing to follow the instructions of the quarantine station chief can be a violation of the Quarantine Law.

"Please make sure to follow the instructions of the quarantine station and wait until the inspection results come out," a senior ministry official said.

The Oita prefectural government said Saturday that five men and women in their 80s and 90s who were previously hospitalised at the Oita Medical Center in Oita City were infected with the virus. The total number of infected people related to the centre has risen to 12.

At a press conference on Saturday, Oita Gov. Katsusada Hirose said, "I have to say there was a cluster of infected people in the hospital."

On Saturday, the government started restrictions on entry to Japan from 38 countries, including nearly all European countries as well as Egypt and Iran, until the end of April to combat the spread of the coronavirus.

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