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Article ID:0000239769Updated on:2021年8月19日更新印刷ページ表示

Early Intensive COVID-19 Infection Prevention Measures Under Semi-State of Emergency (Excerpt; as of 8/17/2021)

The following is from the Hiroshima Prefectural Government:

With the effect that spread of infections in metropolitan areas will have on our prefecture, as well as the concern that cases will rise sharply in a short amount of time, Hiroshima Prefecture has implemented Early Intensive COVID-19 Infection Prevention Measures, stronger measures implemented at an earlier point in time. Intensive Prevention Measures Priority Areas, designated to stop the spread of COVID-19 locally to stop the further spread of the prefecture, have also been expanded to include seven cities and towns, up from the original three.

Looking at the situation across Japan, as the spread of infection shows no signs of stopping in the greater Tokyo metropolitan area and the Kansai area (where state of emergency and semi-state of emergency measures have also been implemented in more prefectures), it has been decided that beginning on August 20, Hiroshima Prefecture will be under a semi-state of emergency as per the Act on Special Measures for Pandemic Influenza and New Infectious Diseases Preparedness and Response (hereinafter Act on Special Measures).

The prefecture is currently at Level 3; looking at the trends in newly reported cases (per 100,000 people for the last week), Hiroshima City, Fukuyama City (both Intensive Prevention Measures Priority Areas), and their neighboring cities and towns have seen sharp increases, prompting concern for the spread of infection to the entire prefecture. (Newly reported infections (per 100,000) for the week until 8/16/2021: Hiroshima Prefecture: 35.9 – Hiroshima City: 41.8, Kure City: 30.2, Fukuyama City: 42.9) 

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 also call on all prefectural residents to continue to implement infection prevention measures even after they are vaccinated.
  • With 60% of new cases coming from Hiroshima City and the effect that has on neighboring cities and towns, we will implement intensive measures in selected areas; these measures must be strong and take into account the effectiveness of measures implemented up 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 continue to formally request that prefectural residents and businesses strictly adhere to basic infection prevention measures, as well as demonstrate understanding and cooperation with semi-state of emergency measures 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 we get our numbers below the warning level as quickly as possible, and that they stably remain there.

Based on the Act on Special Measures, areas where the governor has formally requested cooperation with measures (areas under semi-state of emergency) will be considered Intensive Prevention Measures Priority Areas under this plan.

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 to September 12, 2021
  • Semi-state of emergency period: August 20 to September 12, 2021

Note 1: Regarding the section titled Formal Requests to Residents and Businesses in Intensive Prevention Measures Priority Areasthe period for which designation as an Intensive Prevention Measures Priority Area and formal requests shall be implemented will be designated separately.

Note 2: As per the Act on Special Measures, 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), such as avoiding crowded places and times.

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 online meetings and work from home. Businesses should also make a public record of their progress in reducing the number of people in office and encourage participation.
  • 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. Use good judgment: do not go to dining establishments outside of their formally requested hours of operation.

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. 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)
  • Takehara City, Higashi-Hiroshima City, Fuchu Town, Kaita Town, Saka Town: August 20 (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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