Japan’s Princess Yoko is hospitalized with pneumonia after contracting COVID-19
Japan’s Princess Yoko is hospitalized with pneumonia after contracting COVID-19

Japan’s Princess Yoko is hospitalized with pneumonia after contracting COVID-19

Earlier this month, Japan’s Imperial House Agency announced it Princess Yoko had tested positive for COVID-19, marking the first case of the virus among Japan’s royal family. In the midst of a deadly sixth wave of infections in the country, the 38-year-old second cousin to Emperor Naruhito complained for the first time of sore throat on February 7, according to Asahi Shimbun. After she tested positive, she was admitted to a hospital inside the Imperial Palace. Two days later, the Imperial House announced that she had contracted pneumonia and had been transferred to the University of Tokyo Hospital.

According to Japan Times, the route of transmission was unknown, and although she had attended an event at the palace in late January, no other members of the family were believed to have been exposed. Her big sister, Princess Akiko, took a PCR test as a precaution, but the results were negative. Yoko is the leader of the Tokyo-based social welfare organization Yuai Jujikai, and none of her staff were reported to have tested positive.

Yoko and Akiko’s father, Prince Tomohito, died of cancer at the age of 66 in 2012. He was the youngest brother of the country’s longtime emperor Hirohito and a first cousin of Akihito, the former emperor. Because they are unmarried, Yoko and Akiko have retained the title of princess, which some of their female cousins ​​have had to give up, including Mako Komura, the former princess who moved to New York City after her marriage to an ordinary citizen became a tabloid controversy.

Yoko is one of a handful of royals across the globe, which has announced their coronavirus diagnoses during the month of February. Queen Margrethe Denmark and Spain King Felipe VI both announced that they had contracted coronavirus on 9 February. Last week, Prince Charles tested positive and began to isolate himself; on Monday, his wife, Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, announced that she was also tested positive.

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