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Article ID:0000225841Updated on:2021年5月18日更新印刷ページ表示

Intensive COVID-19 Infection Prevention Measures Under State of Emergency (Excerpt; as of 5/15)

In response to the rise in COVID-19 infections since late March, the prefecture has implemented intensive infection prevention measures as of May 8. However, the infection situation has taken a sharp turn for the worst with the number of newly reported infections (100,000 people for the past week) topping the levels recorded in December of last year.

Looking at the state of infections across Japan, state of emergency measures have been extended until May 31 for an expanded number of prefectures. The number of prefectures under semi-emergency measures aimed at containing the number of infections in regions has also increased, and as of May 14, state of emergency was declared for Hiroshima Prefecture based on the Act on Special Measures for Pandemic Influenza and New Infectious Diseases Preparedness and Response.

At this point in time, Hiroshima Prefecture is at Level 4, and looking at the pattern of new cases, they are rapidly rising not only in Hiroshima and Fukuyama City, but also in other cities and towns, spreading to the entirety of the prefecture. (Newly reported infections (per 100,000) for the week until 5/14/2021 — Hiroshima Prefecture: 48.6, Hiroshima City: 73.5, Kure City: 29.3, Fukuyama City: 17.7)

In addition, the number of cases for the week until 5/14 rose sharply to 1,366 compared to 563 the previous week. Looking at analyses of the cases, there has been a notable spread of infections in the younger generations, with 60% of all infections seen in those younger than 40.

As for our medical systems, the current strain on hospital beds (number of hospital beds currently in use) is at 64.3%, and the strain on hospital beds for severe cases (number of hospital beds currently in use) has risen to 43.2%.

Experts believe that we must immediately implement even stronger measures than the ones currently in place to reduce outings, and we must work to ensure that those with symptoms can receive proper care at medical institutions.

With the increase in infections post-Golden Week, the spread of COVID-19 variants, as well as the unchanging fact that severe cases and deaths are on the rise, the prefecture is in a state of crisis.

To protect the health and the lives of our citizens, as well as keep the socioeconomic impact to a minimum, we hereby implement intensive infection prevention measures along with necessary prefecture-wide state of emergency measures.

Period of Intensive Infection Prevention Measures

  • May 8 (Sat)-June 1 (Tues), 2021 (25 days)
  • SOE will last from May 16 (Sun)-May 31 (Mon), 2021

Formal Requests to Citizens (State of Emergency Measures)

Reduce Outings

Reduce all outings and time spent out in half, including necessary everyday errands and shopping. In particular, further reduce outings after 8 pm. Note that this restriction does not apply to school commutes or visits to medical institutions. Also note that when outings are necessary, always wear a mask and remember to avoid contact with others as much as possible by avoiding crowded places and peak hours. If you must go out, be sure to keep a distance of 2 meters or more from others.

  • Examples of necessary outings: visits to medical institutions, receiving medical checkups, purchasing medicine, necessary work/school commutes, exercise/walks outside in your neighborhood.

Going to dining establishments and infection prevention measures at said establishments

Avoid going to dining establishments with anyone other than those you live with. Do not go to dining establishments that do not comply with the formal request for closure/shortened hours. When going to dining establishments, choose Hiroshima Active Guard partners and COVID-19 Infection Prevention Measures partner establishments who have implemented proper physical infection prevention measures, such as acrylic panels. Be sure to also make use of the Hiroshima COVID-19 QR Code and cooperate with infection prevention measures in place at dining establishments.

Do not drink in groups outside/in parks due to high risk of infection. If going to an event, go straight there and then afterwards, go straight home.

Do not travel to other regions

To the utmost extent possible, do NOT travel outside of the prefecture. Please note that this does not apply to travel for work, school, or medical visits.

Commutes to work

In order to reduce the opportunity for person-to-person contact by cutting down person-to-person contact by 80% through a reduction in the number of people out by 50%, we formally request the following during the intensive measures period in addition to strict adherence to infection prevention measures:

  • Promote walking/cycling to work, staggered working hours, etc, to reduce person-to-person contact.
  • Aim to reduce the number of people in office by 70% by making use of web meetings and work from home.
  • In addition, for those working in places which cannot make use of measures such as work from home, aim to reduce the number of people in the workplace by 70% through measures such as spreading people out in other locations, etc.
  • As we have formally requested that all citizens further reduce outings after 8 pm, curb working hours after 8 pm unless absolutely necessary for the business. Note that this restriction does not apply to essential workers.

Continuation of essential duties (those that ensure stable citizen life/the economy)

As Hiroshima Prefecture is at Level 4, businesses that are essential for stable citizen life and the economy, as well as those who support these businesses, should continue to do their duties according to the characteristics of their business while taking the necessary infection prevention measures.

Strengthen infection prevention measures in the workplace

Implement the following to avoid the 3Cs and prevent infection:

  • Appoint an infection prevention measures leader.
  • Stagger lunch/break hours.
  • Regularly disinfect your hands when entering/exiting the workplace.
  • Regularly ventilate and use humidifiers (be sure to keep a record of implementation and readings).
  • Raise awareness of the COVID-19 Infection Prevention Measures Guide for Workplaces and strictly follow the items in the guide; make use of occupational health professionals, etc.

Stop slander and discrimination

Anyone can catch COVID-19. We ask that you act calmly and rationally: do not be swayed by fake or suspicious news or act in ways which violate someone’s human rights. NEVER slander or discriminate against those such as COVID-19 patients, their families, medical and welfare workers, or international residents.

Other measures

Early detection and quarantine

In order to find new infections in the early stages and offer appropriate medical care at hospitals or quarantine hotels, we will implement the following:

  • Comprehensive epidemiological surveys
  • Strengthen our medical and quarantine systems

Cluster response measures

As cluster outbreaks continue to occur at medical and elderly care facilities, as well as at schools, we will strengthen our measures to detect new patients (the cause of clusters) faster and end cluster outbreaks faster:

  • Strengthen regular PCR testing for workers at medical institutions and elderly care facilities.
  • Early facility intervention and facility infection management guidance by our Medical and Welfare Cluster Response Team.

Formal requests to universities and schools

High Schools

  • High school classes will be held online as a rule (with the exception of mid-term testing and preparation periods).
  • Restrictions on clubs/extra-curricular activities (no practice games with other schools).
  • Keep students in the dorms as much as possible (no trips home, etc).
  • Strengthen PCR testing for faculty and staff, as well as instructors/coaches coming from outside of the school.

Universities

  • Classes will be held online, except for cases during which in-person meetings are necessary, such as experiments, practical training, and guidance for dissertations.
  • Cancel practical training in other locations; switch to on-campus practical training or postpone the training period.
  • In regard to group activities, such as clubs/extra-curriculars or camps, keep any and all activities to the bare minimum (participation in official tournaments, etc).

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