7-Eleven employee in Yamanashi tests positive for coronavirus as separate case is linked to meningitis


A worker at a 7-Eleven convenience store in Yamanashi Prefecture has contracted the new coronavirus, the company said on Sunday.

7-Eleven, a unit of retail group Seven & i Holdings, said it temporarily closed the store for cleaning and disinfection after the infection was confirmed on Saturday and implemented various safety policies at its shops nationwide, including the wearing of masks.

In the meantime, a separate coronavirus patient in the prefecture was in serious condition, the Yamanashi Prefectural Government said Saturday.

The man in his 20s tested for the coronavirus on Saturday and is unconscious with a fever, pneumonia and meningitis, the prefectural government said.

This marks the first case in Japan where the new coronavirus has caused meningitis, University of Yamanashi President Shinji Shimada said at a news conference on Saturday.

Separately, in Yokohama, 1,406 individuals who used the same gym as a 70-year-old man who tested positive for the novel coronavirus on Thursday are all considered at risk of contact infection, the Yokohama Municipal Government announced on Saturday.

The gym, which has been closed to undergo cleaning, is Central Wellness Club Tressa in Kohoku Ward.

In Nagoya, a test on a dead man there tested positive for COVID-19 , according to an individual close to the matter. The elderly man died after being admitted to a hospital in the city after complaining that he wasn’t feeling well. There’s a chance he came in contact with someone who had already tested positive for COVID-19, the city said.

According to the same source, the man’s results showed he was carrying the virus after he died on Saturday. He was not included in the 69 cases of infection announced by Aichi Prefecture and Nagoya on Saturday.

Japan has draw criticism for having insufficient capacity to test for the virus and for not fully mobilizing what capacity it does have.

“I expect testing capacity for the coronavirus will increase to over 7,000 per day by the end of this month from around 4,200 as of March 5 and 6,200 now,” because national health insurance can now be used to cover coronavirus testing, Health Minister Katsunobu Kato told NHK in an interview aired Sunday. The move, however, only shortens the process for getting tested.



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