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EDITORIAL: Japan must respond quickly to threat posed by Omicron

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A new variant of the novel coronavirus has been discovered and cases of infection with this variant have been reported across the world.

The new variant, first detected in South Africa, has been named Omicron by the World Health Organization. In some communities in the southern African country, this new variant is reportedly fast replacing the Delta variant, which has been dominant for months.

Experts warn that Omicron may be more transmissible and better equipped to evade the body’s immune responses, both to vaccination and to natural infection, than prior versions of the new coronavirus. At the moment, it is vital to evaluate the risk posed by the new strain through cool-headed analyses based on the latest scientific information about it.

The government on Nov. 29 decided to bar the entry of foreign visitors, for the time being, as a precautionary measure to ward off the Omicron variant. The decision came on the heels of the move to tighten border control........

© The Asahi Shimbun

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