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Japan’s PM Kishida tests positive for COVID, cancels Africa trip

Japan’s PM Kishida tests positive for COVID, cancels Africa trip

  • Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida tested positive for COVID-19.
  • Forced him to cancel a planned trip to Tunisia to attend a conference on African development.
  • Comes as Japan experiences a record resurgence in coronavirus cases.

 

Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, he tested positive for COVID-19, forcing him to cancel a planned trip to Tunisia to attend a key conference on African development.

Kishida, who has just returned from a week-long vacation, will begin working from home on Monday and will participate in the Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD) online, according to a source who asked not to be identified because he is not authorized to speak to the media.

The prime minister developed a cough and fever on Saturday and underwent a PCR test on Sunday morning, which revealed a positive result in the afternoon, according to a Cabinet Office spokesperson.

The United Nations, World Bank, and African Union Commission are co-hosting the eighth TICAD, the first since 2019. The gathering will look at ways to help the continent deal with the COVID-19 pandemic as part of the discussion on measures to boost development.

Kishida’s infection comes as Japan experiences a record resurgence in coronavirus cases in July and August, affecting businesses in the world’s third-largest economy, though deaths remain low and disruptions are milder than in other advanced economies.

Japan’s economy grew 2.2% on an annualized basis in the second quarter, a slower-than-expected rebound from a COVID-induced slump, as uncertainty persists about whether consumption can support a fragile recovery.

The authorities have avoided the strict lockdowns used in China and other countries throughout the pandemic, instead relying on widespread mask use and social distancing to keep infections at bay.

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