Japan PM starts working remotely after contracting Covid

Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida began working remotely on Monday after testing positive for Covid-19 a day earlier, the government’s top spokesperson said.

According to Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirokazu Matsuno, Kishida, 65, is only displaying mild symptoms of the virus and was able to attend a meeting remotely from his official residence on Monday morning, reports Xinhua news agency.

Matsuno said plans are being made so that the Prime Minister can take part in as many upcoming events as possible, by virtual and other means.

Kishida has to isolate until August 30, Matsuno said.

One such event he might have to take part in virtually is the Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD), to be held in Tunisia on August 27 and 28.

His planned visit to the Middle East after TICAD is likely to be cancelled, government sources said.

Kishida received his fourth Covid-19 vaccine shot on August 12, just before the beginning of his summer vacation on August 15.

After playing golf with his family in Ibaraki Prefecture on August 16, he stayed at a hot spring inn in Shizuoka the following day.

On August 18, day they took in some sights in the Shizuoka, according to local accounts.

He started showing symptoms of the virus on Saturday night after returning to his residence in Tokyo on Friday afternoon and tested positive for the virus on Sunday.

Kishida was due to return to work on Monday.

His symptoms included a mild fever and a cough, the Prime Minister’s Office said.

Japan is currently in the grip of a seventh wave of the pandemic and reported record daily cases last week as the BA.5 Omicron subvariant of the virus continues to run rampant nationwide.

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