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Coronavirus

Three Japanese evacuees from Wuhan test positive for coronavirus

No symptoms found in 2, marking the first asymptomatic cases in Japan

Ambulances leave Haneda Airport after a chartered plane carrying Japanese evacuees from Wuhan arrived on Jan. 29.   © Kyodo

TOKYO -- Three Japanese evacuees who returned home from Wuhan on a government-chartered flight have tested positive for the new coronavirus, the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare said on Thursday.

One of the patients, a male in his 50s, was hospitalized after complaining of symptoms upon entering Japan.

The other two, in their 40s and 50s, exhibited no symptoms but tested positive. These marked the first cases in the country of carriers exhibiting no symptoms of the deadly virus.

In a note of reassurance, the ministry said it is "unlikely transmission can occur from asymptomatic virus carriers."

Of the 206 patients who returned home on the Wednesday flight, 12 who exhibited symptoms were hospitalized.

The ministry screened returnees even if they had no symptoms.

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