Scientists in Japan have launched a study to determine whether race plays a part in the onset of severe symptoms of coronavirus and death rates.
Experts from seven leading universities will conduct genome analyses of Japanese people who have contracted the virus, sampling individuals who only displayed minor symptoms, those who were seriously ill and people who died.
The scientists intend to compare their findings with similar research being conducted in other countries and will attempt to isolate factors that are common in people who developed severe symptoms and those who died.
There have been 16,867 cases of coronavirus in Japan, a nation of 126.5 million people, and more than 900 deaths. Similarly, South Korea, with a population of more than 51 million, has reported 11,629 cases and 273 deaths.
In contrast, the UK has had 279,856 cases and 39,728 deaths in a population of 66.65 million, while the US,