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US military reports more than 30 new coronavirus infections at Tokyo-area bases

A sailor checks out masks for sale inside the Fleet Store at Yokosuka Naval Base, Japan, Aug. 6, 2020.

RYO ISOBE/U.S. NAVY

By JOSEPH DITZLER | STARS AND STRIPES Published: December 1, 2020

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TOKYO – The U.S. military in Japan reported 32 new coronavirus cases as of 6 p.m. Tuesday, mostly infections that popped up at bases near the capital city over the past week.

Yokota Air Base, the headquarters in western Tokyo of U.S. Forces Japan, announced that 21 people had tested positive between Nov. 25 and Monday. Fifteen were already in quarantine due to contact with an infected person.

Three others are new arrivals who were tested by Japanese authorities at Haneda International Airport in Tokyo and went directly into the mandatory 14-day quarantine, according to a base Facebook post.

The contacts of the remaining three are being traced, according to the post. The base has 30 virus patients.

A cluster began at Yokota on Nov. 13 with three infected individuals and peaked 10 days later at 43 cases, according to reports on the base Facebook page.

Yokosuka Naval Base, south of Tokyo, announced that 10 individuals have tested positive for the virus since Friday. Seven were already in the two-week quarantine as recent arrivals to Japan, according to a base Facebook post.

Of the remaining patients, two tested positive during contact tracing and one was discovered after developing symptoms of COVID-19, the respiratory disease caused by the coronavirus, according to the base. Public health officials are tracing that person’s contacts, the base said.

Yokosuka has 30 people under care with the virus, according to the post. The base reported 36 infections during November, for a pandemic total of at least 155.

Sasebo Naval Base, on the tip of the southern island of Kyushu, reported one new case, a person who tested positive Monday while in a 14-day quarantine. That person is the only active infection at the base, according to an official Facebook post.

The naval base reported four cases in November and a total of at least 15 during the pandemic, so far.

ditzler.joseph@stripes.com
Twitter: @JosephDitzler