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Infected arrivals from abroad face hospital stays for Omicron checks

  • December 7, 2021
  • , The Asahi Shimbun , 3:15 p.m.
  • English Press

By Edamatsu Yuki, staff writer

 

The health ministry, seeking to pinpoint and isolate Omicron infections, has asked municipalities to hospitalize everyone who tests positive for COVID-19 if they had been abroad over the previous 14 days.

 

Only genome sequencing can determine if a COVID-19 variant is Omicron, but these tests can take several days to complete.

 

Therefore, the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare wants to treat all infected individuals who have been overseas as possible carriers of the Omicron variant until genome sequencing determines the specific strain of the novel coronavirus.

 

The same procedures should also apply to COVID-19 patients whose screening tests show they are not infected with the Delta variant.

 

Both groups should remain isolated in single-patient, negative-pressure hospital rooms until the genome sequencing results for Omicron are available, according to the ministry’s notice to municipalities dated Dec. 3.

 

If the patients are found not infected with Omicron, the severity level of their symptoms will determine where they will recuperate under usual procedures.

 

 

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