A woman who is working as a tour-bus guide in Japan has tested positive for the novel coronavirus for the second time, said Osaka’s prefectural government on 26 February.
The authorities revealed that this is the first case of such repeated diagnosis in Japan amid the growing concerns about the spreading of the virus in the country.
The woman, who lives in Osaka and is in her 40s, developed a sore throat and chest pains first before being tested positive of the deadly virus once again on Wednesday (26 February), the prefectural government said.
On 29 January this year, she was first tested positive for the virus and was discharged from the hospital on 1 February after she made a recovery, according to the statement. She was later tested negative for the coronavirus on 6 February.
Based on this situation, the Japanese healthy ministry announced that this is the first case in Japan where a patient who made full recovery and was discharged from hospital was tested positive for the coronavirus once again, the Japanese media stated.
However, Chinese daily Caixin Global reported on Wednesday that among the patients who have recovered from the deadly coronavirus, also known as COVID-19, and discharged from hospitals in China’s Guangdong province, 14 percent were tested positive again at later check-ups.
The Chinese daily noted that the positive tests may suggest that the recovered patients still carry the virus.
“Once you have the infection, it could remain dormant and with minimal symptoms, and then you can get an exacerbation if it finds its way into the lungs,” said Philip Tierno Jr., Professor of Microbiology and Pathology at NYU School of Medicine to Reuters.
Prof Tierno also stated that a lot of things are still unknown when it comes to the virus. “I’m not certain that this is not bi-phasic, like anthrax,” he said, meaning that the virus might seem to disappear before recurring.
When asked to comment on the likelihood for the Olympic Games to take place in Tokyo this summer, he said, “The Olympics should be postponed if this continues. There are many people who don’t understand how easy it is to spread this infection from one person to another.”
The outbreak, which first started in the city of Wuhan last year, has spread rapidly across more than two dozen countries in the world. In fact, the deadly coronavirus has infected nearly 80,000 people and claimed the lives of about 2,800 people, mainly in mainland China.
The woman’s second positive test came just as the number of confirmed cases of the coronavirus in Japan soared by 16 to 186. This figure is in addition to the 704 individuals diagnosed from the Diamond Princess cruise ship that was quarantined off Tokyo earlier this month.
Japan has altered its strategy in fighting with the disease, and trying to contain the spreading and minimise the number of deaths. As of now, seven people have lost their lives due to the coronavirus, including four from the cruise ship.
As one of the ways to slow down the spreading of the virus, Tokyo Olympic officials noted that they are thinking of downsizing the torch relay, said Tokyo 2020 CEO Toshiro Muro on Wednesday.
Apart from that, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga told the press today that the government is also considering to scale down this year’s March 11 memorial ceremony, an event held to remember the victims of 2011’s massive earthquake and tsunami.