Japan confirmed its first deaths among people who have been infected with the omicron coronaviruses variant on Saturday.
The Shizuoka Municipal Government said a man who died Tuesday at a medical institution was confirmed to have been infected with the omicron variant based on genomic testing. He was elderly and had severe pre-existing conditions.
The elderly woman who died Tuesday had been infected with the highly contagious variant, according to the Chiba Prefectural Government. She had a pre-existing disease that affected her circulatory system.
The woman was in close contact with a family member infected with the coronavirus and was hospitalized from early January after showing COVID 19 symptoms, including a fever. She received two shots of a COVID-19 vaccine.
The omicron variant was first reported by South Africa in November. The first known fatality was confirmed in Britain on December 13.
The weekly number of new coronavirus cases in the world has hit a new high of over 15 million, as the delta version replaces it as the dominant variant.
The weekly death rate of coronaviruses in the world is around 50,000, which is much less than the peak of over 100,000.
As of Thursday, 3,699 people had been confirmed to have been confirmed to have been infected with the omicron variant in Japan, but 80% to 90% of all new coronaviruses in the country have been confirmed to have been infected with the omicron strain.
Over 90% of omicron carriers have been found to be asymptomatic or have only mild symptoms in Okinawa Prefecture, where the variant is raging.