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Japan coronavirus cases rise, including returnees from Europe, other areas

A man who arrived at Narita Airport on a flight from Shanghai receives an explanation about self-isolating as a measure against the new coronavirus, in Narita, Chiba Prefecture, east of Tokyo, on March 9, 2020. (Mainichi/Koichiro Tezuka)

Another 35 new coronavirus infections were reported in Japan on March 13, bringing the total in the country to 1,421, including some 700 passengers and crew of the virus-hit Diamond Princess cruise ship.

Several infections were reported among people who had been in other countries hit by the pandemic, including Italy and Egypt. The southwestern Japan prefecture of Saga also recorded its first case.

The new infections included 10 in the western Japan prefecture of Hyogo, nine in Japan's northernmost prefecture of Hokkaido, three each in the central and western Japan prefectures of Aichi and Osaka, two each in the eastern Japan prefectures of Chiba, Saitama and Tokyo, and one each in Kanagawa Prefecture, south of Tokyo, and in Saga Prefecture. In addition, one person who returned to Tokyo's Haneda Airport, and one member of Japan's Maritime Self-Defense Force were found to be infected.

According to the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare, a man in his 30s from Osaka Prefecture was confirmed to be infected with the virus at a quarantine station at Haneda Airport. He had been in Italy until March 11, and returned to Japan via Germany on March 12. He was tested after having stayed in the Italian administrative region of Lombardy, where the number of infections has surged.

Meanwhile, the Chiba Prefectural Government reported that a man in his 80s from the city of Sosa had tested positive for the virus on March 12. He had traveled in Egypt from Feb. 26 to March 4, and taken a cruise ship on the Nile.

In Saitama Prefecture, north of Tokyo, a man in his 30s from the city of Soka, and a woman in her 40s from the city of Kawaguchi were confirmed to have the coronavirus. The man had been in Spain and the United Kingdom on business with two colleagues from Feb. 23 to March 1. The mother of the woman from Kawaguchi had been on a Nile cruise, and tested positive for the virus after returning to Japan.

In Tokyo, a man in his 50s and a woman in her 80s were confirmed infected. In both cases, the transmission route was unknown, but the man is said to have been in Manila on business from Feb. 25 to 26.

The nine people in Hokkaido who were found infected included four people linked to a live music bar in Sapporo believed to be the source of a cluster of infections. One of the four, a man in his 50s from the city of Kitami, visited the bar, while the other three included those with household and workplace connections to another visitor to the bar. The latter guest had earlier been confirmed to be infected.


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