Bus driver infected with virus in Japan after driving Chinese tourists

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(Chinese tourists walk through an area where face masks are sold at an electronics store in Tokyo’s Akihabara district, January 27, 2020.)

TOKYO – The government on Tuesday confirmed three more cases in Japan of the novel coronavirus, including a tourist bus driver who has never been to the central city of Wuhan in China, where the outbreak of the deadly virus began in a market in seafood and poultry.

The bus driver in his 60s became the first Japanese to be infected with the virus in Japan, the health ministry said. He led two groups of Chinese tourists from Wuhan earlier this month.

The results bring the total number of confirmed infections in Japan to seven.

The tour bus made a round trip between Tokyo and Osaka between Jan. 8 and Jan. 16, the ministry said.

He briefly stopped in Nara prefecture in western Japan, according to the prefectural government, which did not give details.

The driver, from Nara, was diagnosed with pneumonia on Saturday and was hospitalized in the prefecture.

The ministry also said a man in his 40s from Wuhan developed pneumonia and was hospitalized in central Aichi Prefecture. He arrived in Japan on January 20.

In the seventh case, a woman in her 40s from the Chinese city was diagnosed with pneumonia on Monday at a medical facility in Hokkaido, the ministry said.

The three new patients are not in serious condition, the ministry said, adding that it is checking the health of people who have been in contact with them.


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