By Stephen Delahunty For Mailonline and Afp
Published: 08:45 GMT, 27 February 2020 | Updated: 11:55 GMT, 27 February 2020
The first person in Japan to twice test positive for the coronavirus is a female tour guide working with visitors from the outbreak-stricken epicentre.
The 40-year-old woman was working on a tour bus with sightseers from Wuhan, the capital of China’s Hubei province, in January.
She was first confirmed as infected with the coronavirus on January 29.
After being discharged from hospital she tested negative for the virus on February 6, although she still had a cough at the time.
The news came after a woman working as a tour bus guide tested positive for the coronavirus for a second time, Osaka's prefectural government said, the first known person in Japan and one of very few worldwide to do so amid growing concerns about the spread of the infection.
A female pedestrian crosses a busy road in Japan beneath banners promoting the upcoming Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games. Concerns the competition may have to be cancelled are spreading as infected cases continue to rise
She had no symptoms a week later, but returned to the doctor on February 21 complaining of a sore throat and chest pains.
On Wednesday, she tested positive for the coronavirus for a second time, officials in Osaka said.
The driver of the tour bus also tested positive for the virus.
At least 186 people in Japan have so far contracted the virus, with three deaths in the country linked to the outbreak.sonos sonos One (Gen 2) - Voice Controlled Smart Speaker with Amazon Alexa Built-in - Black read more
Almost 700 people have been diagnosed with the virus on board the Diamond Princess cruise ship that was quarantined off Japan, including passengers who were allowed to leave the boat after testing negative, with 45 now showing symptoms.
There have been four deaths linked to the virus from the ship.
The government has come under pressure for a relatively hands-off approach to the virus, but on Thursday the Osaka prefectural government said it would expand screening of patients to a broader group than currently stipulated by central guidelines.
'We will make sure that people who should be tested, get tested, and will avoid a worst-case scenario by preventing these people from developing symptoms and serious conditions,' Osaka governor Hirofumi Yoshimura said.
One expert has warned that quarantine periods may have to be extended.
Prof Rowland Kao, Professor of Veterinary Epidemiology