The Japanese Ministry of Health reported the first confirmed case of the COVID-19 lambda variant, according to local media.
The case of the novel coronavirus variant, first described in Peru, was detected in a woman in her 30s who arrived at Tokyo’s Haneda Airport on July 20, three days before the Olympics’ opening ceremony, after traveling to Peru.
She tested positive for the coronavirus in a quarantine check at the airport, with no symptoms.
The virus was confirmed to be of the lambda variant in an analysis by the National Institute of Infectious Diseases.
According to the institute, the lambda variant was first detected in Peru in August last year and has been spreading in South America.
Compared with the conventional strain, the variant may be more infectious and have stronger resistance to vaccines, but its details are not known, the institute said.
Meanwhile, the Delta variant is challenging the part of the world that’s been most successful in blunting the economic impact of COVID-19, with Asian countries that snuffed it out locking down again as the virus returns.