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Article ID:0000238141Updated on:2021年8月11日更新印刷ページ表示

Early Intensive COVID-19 Infection Prevention Measures (Excerpt; as of 8/5/2021)

The following is from the Hiroshima Prefectural Government:

In late April, to curb the rising spread of COVID-19, we implemented intensive infection prevention measures from May 8 to July 11 and successfully lowered the infection rates for the prefecture. After this point, we have continued to implement measures such as thorough epidemiological surveys and intensive PCR testing periods, in addition to formally requesting that citizens and businesses alike continue to carry out basic infection prevention measures, and avoid travel as much as is possible to areas under state of emergency.

Looking at the state of infections across Japan, in the greater Tokyo metropolitan area and the Kansai area (under their fourth state of emergency and semi-state of emergency measures, respectively), infections continue to widely increase mainly in the younger generation. As the highly infectious Delta variant continues to become the main strain, the spread of infection shows no signs of slowing. In addition, the number of patients across other regions is also increasing and showing patterns of spreading.

Analysis of past infection situations up until this point in the prefecture show:

  • Hiroshima Prefecture tends to see an increase in infections a few weeks after infections increase in larger metropolitan areas.
  • Cases in Hiroshima City make up roughly 70% of all cases in the prefecture; infections tend to increase in Hiroshima City before they increase in the prefecture.
  • The actual state of infections is worse than the state of infection officially announced for the given day.

As such, including the situation for other prefectures, it is thought that “taking early measures suited to the infection situation will lead to a lower number of infections at the peak, a shorter period of measures, and reduced patient numbers.” 

The current infection situation is as follows: with the spread of the Delta variant and with the risk that it will be brought into the prefecture from outside of the prefecture by those traveling over the summer holidays, there is a strong risk for infections to increase. Based on the opinions of experts, we are currently in Level 3. (Newly reported infections (per 100,000) for the week until 8/4/2021 — Hiroshima Prefecture: 16.3)

Experts believe that:

  • With the Delta variant becoming mainstream, there is the potential for rapid increases in infections and we must implement thorough infection prevention measures not just in dining establishments, but also in the workplace and at school.
  • We must implement measures early so we do not miss our window. Together with implementing intensive measures in limited areas, we must take strong measures which take into account the effect of measures taken until this point.
  • Our medical care system must work in cooperation with municipal health authorities and local medical associations to increase the number of facilities that can take care of positive cases, including online medical care, in addition to strengthening efforts to monitor the health of those recovering in quarantine facilities or at home.
  • With a high number of patients 10 years old and younger, it is thought that parents are bringing COVID-19 home with them. We must call for parents to re-think their infection prevention measures and encourage vaccination.
  • As the number of those vaccinated in the 40-60 age range is relatively low, those in this age range who have underlying conditions run the risk of developing severe cases of COVID-19. We must warn people in this age range of the risks through their regular doctors and other methods.

Taking all of this into account, together with promoting vaccination, we are implementing intensive infection prevention measures at an earlier stage than ever before in order to keep the spread of infection, and the number of severe cases and deaths, to the absolute minimum, as well as to ensure that our numbers remain stable and below the warning level as quickly as possible. We will do so through implementing strong measures, such as restrictions on activities and facilities usage, at an earlier point in time than we have in the past.

Regarding Early Intensive Measures

The Hiroshima Prefectural Policy for COVID-19 Infection Prevention Measures (hereafter Prefectural Policy Measures) are founded on continuing social and economic activity while keeping the spread of infection to a minimum. By maximizing the knowledge gained through analyses of the infection situation to date and implementing measures at an earlier stage than ever before, we will work to ensure a swift end to infections.

These early intensive measures fall under Stage 3 (Implementing Restrictions on Activities) in the table below. Details regarding these measures (period, formal requests, areas under these measures, etc) can also be found in the following.

Stage

Index

Measures

Stage 1 (Early Warning)

Indicator for those travelling into Hiroshima from outside of the prefecture is 1*

  • Strongly call on prefectural citizens to exercise caution

 

Stage 2 (Warning)

Number of new infections in Hiroshima City reaches 4.0**

  • Strengthen our PCR testing system.
  • Put formal requests in to the heads of health centers to carry out further thorough epidemiological surveys.
  • Formally request that all medical institutions implement further PCR testing.
  • Formally request that prefectural citizens and businesses thoroughly adhere to infection prevention measures (including strengthening basic infection prevention measures, actively getting PCR tests, strengthening work from home initiatives, etc)

Stage 3 (Implementing Restrictions on Activities)

Number of infections for Hiroshima Prefecture is 10.0**

  • Begin intensive infection prevention measures.

Please note that taking the infection situation into consideration, we will implement strong measures, such as shortened hours of operation, beginning on the day when it is estimated that the number of newly reported infections (per 100,000) for the most recent week will reach around 15.

*The infection situation in Tokyo (number of newly reported infections (per 100,000) for the most recent week) × the number of people travelling (from Tokyo to Hiroshima) + the infection situation in Osaka (same as above) × the number of people travelling (from Osaka to Hiroshima)

**Number of newly reported infections (per 100,000) for the most recent week

Period of Early Intensive Infection Prevention Measures

July 31 (Sat) to September 12, 2021 (Sun)

Note: As per the Act on Special Measures for Pandemic Influenza and New Infectious Diseases Preparedness and Response, we have applied to the national government for the implementation of Semi-State of Emergency as of August 4. Should the infection situation show no signs of improvement moving forward, we will take even stronger measures such as requesting the implementation of State of Emergency measures. However, should the infection situation show signs of improvement, we will gradually relax our official requests (activity restrictions) and partially cancel Intensive Prevention Measures Priority Areas.

Formal Request to All Citizens and Businesses in Hiroshima Prefecture

Reduce person-to-person contact

In order to reduce 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:

Reduce outings

  • Reduce all outings and time spent out in half, including necessary everyday errands and shopping. Note that this restriction does not apply to school commutes or visits to medical institutions.
  • When outings are necessary, always wear a mask and remember to avoid contact with others as much as possible (keep a distance of at least two meters).

    Examples of necessary outings: visits to medical institutions, shopping trips for medicine, necessary work/school commutes, exercise/walks outside in your neighborhood.

Commutes to work

  • Reduce person-to-person contact during work commutes through promoting walking/cycling to work, staggered working hours, etc.
  • Aim to reduce the number of people in office by 70% by making use of web meetings and work from home.
  • 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.

Going to dining establishments and infection prevention measures at said establishments

  • Avoid going to dining establishments with anyone other than those you live with. However, this does not apply if using dining establishments with physical infection prevention measures in place (see bullet point below) OR at campgrounds with infection-via-droplets prevention measures in place (acrylic panels or placing guests one or more meters apart or dining with masks on as much as possible) with proper hand sanitation measures and ventilation.
  • 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 go to dining establishments who do not cooperate with the formal request for shortened hours of operation in Intensive Prevention Measures Priority Areas.

Avoid Travel to Other Regions

  • Do not travel to prefectures and regions under State of Emergency/semi-emergency measures as much as possible. We also ask that you seriously reconsider travel plans to/from regions with increased infections (areas where prefectural governments have called for avoiding unnecessary outings or areas where the number of new infections for the most recent week have been over 10 per 100,000 people).
  • If meeting with visitors from those regions, take the risks into consideration and act accordingly. For businesses, consider changing when you take business trips or making use of online meetings instead.
  • Regarding travel within the prefecture, avoid travel to areas listed as Intensive Prevention Measures Priority Areas (Hiroshima City, Hatsukaichi City, Mihara City). Note that this restriction does not apply to school/work commutes or visits to medical facilities.

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

If the prefectural falls into Level 3 or Level 4, businesses that are essential for stable citizen life and the economy, as well as those who support these businesses, should continue to operate according to the characteristics of their business while taking the necessary infection prevention measures.

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 and intensive PCR testing
  • Secure systems for medical care and quarantine care

Cluster response measures

We will strengthen our measures to detect new patients who have the potential to cause clusters faster, and end cluster outbreaks faster via the following:

  • 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

Kindergartens, elementary schools, junior high schools, high schools
  • Implement measures based on the Hygiene Management Manual for COVID-19 in Schools.
Universities, higher education specialty schools
  • Ensure strict student adherence to infection prevention measures, call on students to take precautions when dining in groups, strictly adhere to infection prevention measures during on-site and off-site practicals, dormitory life, and group activities, such as clubs and extra-curricular activities.

Formal Requests to Residents and Businesses in Intensive Prevention Measures Priority Areas

Intensive Prevention Measures Priority Areas

In order to stop the spread of COVID-19 in local areas and stop infections from spreading to the entirety of the prefecture, the following areas have been deemed Intensive Prevention Measures Priority Areas:

  • Hiroshima City, Mihara City, Hatsukaichi City (July 31 (Sat) – September 12, 2021 (Sun))
  • Kure City, Onomichi City, Fukuyama City, Fuchu City (August 6 (Fri) – September 12, 2021 (Sun))

Formal requests to residents and businesses in Intensive Prevention Measures Priority Areas

Reduce person-to-person contact

  • Further reduce outings after 8 pm.

Commutes to work

  • As we have formally requested that residents 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.

  Note: the period for these formal requests will be the same for each area listed in (1). 

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