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Japanese Lawmaker Dies Of COVID-19 At Age 53

 A Japanese lawmaker died of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) at the age of 53, the first victim from the nation’s parliament, a party official said on Monday.

Yuichiro Hata, who served as transport minister under the now-defunct Democratic Party of Japan, was pronounced dead at a Tokyo hospital on Sunday, and COVID-19 was the cause of his death, according to Tetsuro Fukuyama, secretary-general of the Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan, which he belonged to.

Hata’s condition became significantly worse on Sunday while he was on his way to a hospital to receive a coronavirus test after developing fever late on Thursday, Fukuyama told reporters.

He was the son of late former prime minister Tsutomu Hata, who took office in 1994.

Meanwhile, Japan on Monday temporarily suspended the entry of foreign nationals until the end of January after detecting cases of the new coronavirus strain discovered in Britain.

Japan has so far confirmed a total of eight cases of a new coronavirus variant identified in Britain.

Four people have been hospitalised while the other four, who had no symptoms, were sent into quarantine, the health ministry said.

The full ban comes after Japan on Thursday began to impose a temporary ban on new arrivals by non-resident foreign nationals, who have recently visited Britain and South Africa, where another new strain has been identified.

Japan has been facing a resurgence of the coronavirus, with a record high of 3,881 new infections on Saturday.

It also marked the fourth day in a row that a record was set for daily cases.

Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga urged the public on Friday to have a “quiet” year-end and new year period to help stop the spread of the coronavirus.

Japan has so far avoided a virus outbreak on the scale seen in Europe and the U.S., with a total of more than 220,000 known infections and about 3,250 COVID-19-related deaths. (dpa/NAN)

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