• Japan Reports First Omicron COVID Variant Case
Passengers at Kansai International Airport in Osaka wait in line to pass quarantine inspections. (Photo: AP-Yonhap)

Japan has become the latest country to confirm its first case of the new Omicron coronavirus variant.

Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirokazu Matsuno said Tuesday the patient is a visitor who recently arrived from Namibia.

Matsuno said the man tested positive upon arrival at Narita airport on Sunday but did not identify his nationality, citing privacy reasons.

The secretary said theTokyo government will maintain strict border controls.

Earlier, Japan announced it will ban all foreign visitors as an emergency precaution against the variant, tentatively through the end of the year.

The World Health Organization has described Omicron, which was first identified in South Africa, as "potentially very dangerous."

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