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Kanagawa Pref. confirms first 2 coronavirus variant deaths in Japan

The Kanagawa Prefectural Government building in Yokohama's Chuo Ward is seen in this Feb. 18, 2019 file photo. (Mainichi/Akihiko Yamamoto)

YOKOHAMA -- Two men in Kanagawa Prefecture who died of COVID-19 were confirmed to have been infected with variant strains of the coronavirus, the prefecture announced on March 16.

    According to the Kanagawa Prefectural Government, the two cases are the first coronavirus variant deaths in Japan.

    The men, one in his 50s and the other in his 70s, reportedly died of pneumonia, and it was confirmed only after their deaths that they had been infected with coronavirus variants. The prefectural government has sent samples to the National Institute of Infectious Diseases to investigate which countries the variants contracted by the men came from.

    (Japanese original by Shotaro Kinoshita, Yokohama Bureau)

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