Regarding Future Measures in Response to COVID-19(Apr 25, 2021) (Oita Prefecture Government) – おおいた国際交流プラザ
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Regarding Future Measures in Response to COVID-19(Apr 25, 2021) (Oita Prefecture Government)

Regarding Future Measures in Response to COVID-19

Apr 25, 2021

Covid-19 Countermeasures Headquarters

 

1 Current COVID-19 infection status

Amid a surge in COVID-19 infections across Japan, Tokyo, Osaka, Kyoto and Hyogo have entered the third coronavirus state of emergency based on the ‘Pandemic Influenza Preparedness and Response’ following the latest announcement.

Miyagi, Okinawa, Saitama, Chiba, Kanagawa, Aichi, Ehime are now covered by the ‘Quasi-emergency Coronavirus Measures’ based on the same laws. In Kyushu, a sharp rise in case numbers has also been confirmed in Fukuoka, Saga, Nagasaki, Kumamoto as well as Oita.

As of yesterday, Oita Prefecture has recorded the highest daily case numbers for three consecutive days, which amounted to 226 cases over the past four days. The prefecture’s alert level is at Stage II based on comprehensive evaluation. A continued surge in case numbers will bring significant burden to hospital bed occupancy rates. Should this occur, Oita will enter Stage III on the alert level and consequently qualify for the Quasi-emergency Coronavirus Measures.

2 New variants

Owing to residents’ infection prevention efforts, the infection has long been kept at bay within Oita Prefecture. However, the state of events has changed drastically due to the emergence of a new variant. Since a patient carrying a new variant was first identified on March 21, the prefecture has confirmed 274 new variant cases, which accounts for 80% of the 341-case total. In this month alone, six new variant induced clusters occurred in various contexts, some of which included karaoke sessions held by elderly individuals and afterparties for wedding ceremonies. In the Oita City-east karaoke cluster, 16 out of the 21 participants were infected. The infection then spread further to over 50 people through other karaoke parlours and groups within a mere span of two days – it is clear that the new variant is far more infectious and spreads through the population at a faster pace.

3 Future measures

In light of higher mobility among the population and the new variant’s infectiousness, standard infection measures may be insufficient for the upcoming Golden Week period. To avoid a worst-case scenario, the Oita Prefecture implores residents to participate in reinforced measures until the end of the Golden Week holidays (May 11).

(1) Travelling outside of Oita Prefecture

Refrain from travelling to regions where infection cases are rising (regions that fall under the state of emergency, Quasi-emergency Coronavirus Measures and regions where reduced business hour and travelling restrictions outside of prefectures are requested).

Exercise caution when travelling to or from other prefectures. If travelling outside of Oita is essential, avoid high risk venues and dining in large groups, and monitor your physical conditions before and after the journey.

(2) Travels within Oita Prefecture

There have been no confirmed clusters in local hotels and tourism facilities. Amid the emergence of the new variant, the Oita Prefecture shall take thorough infection control measures in cooperation with members of the hotel and tourism industry so that local residents may travel with ease during the Golden Week period.

(3) Group dining

To curb the infection swiftly, please refrain from dining in large groups. The prefecture recommends group dining among family members only, or limiting participation number to up to four people in conjunction to the usage of facemasks.

Reconsider dining with individuals from regions where infection cases are rising.

Concerning the use of ‘Miryoku Kupon Ken [味力喰うぽん券]’, although no cluster has been confirmed at designated dining facilities, please follow the abovementioned policy in regards to infection prevention.

For milestone events, such as wedding ceremonies, that may be difficult to postpone, communicate with venue organisers to better plan out the event; ensure to take thorough prevention measures and reduce event time.

(4) Karaoke

Karaoke venues pose high risks of infection due to the presence of airborne droplets, and several clusters have occurred in Oita Prefecture from karaoke sessions. Participation should be limited to family members, and the use of facemask is strongly recommended.

(5) Taking basic, thorough infection control measures

The prefecture urges residents to adhere to basic infection control measures such as diligent handwashing, usage of facemasks, avoiding the overlap of 3Cs and frequent ventilation.

The same measures should be followed at home.

Recent events call for the more stringent adherence to infection control, especially when visiting locations with large crowds such as event venues and attraction facilities.

(6) Measures taken by business operators

Businesses are urged to thoroughly follow industry-based infection prevention guidelines and remain alert to the highly infectious new variant.

(7) Vaccination

Inoculation has begun for older adults in Oita Prefecture – vaccination coupons are being distributed swiftly to all elderlies across the prefecture. Each municipality will have its own vaccination rollout schedule, please refer to information from your municipality before making an appointment.

While more time may be required, all residents will be eligible to vaccination.

4 Conclusion

It is entirely possible that someone around you is infected considering the current status in Oita Prefecture. In order to curb the infection, it is more important than ever for all residents to remain alert and proactive in infection control efforts.

In response to the surge of infection, the Oita Prefecture is securing hospital bed and recuperation facility vacancies, conducting extensive epidemiological investigations in conjunction to the performance of other appropriate measures.

Now is the critical time for infection control. The prefecture apologises for any inconvenience caused, and implores residents to tackle the matter with a heightened sense of alert.

 

Regarding Future Measures in Response to COVID-19(Apr 25, 2021) [PDFファイル/67KB]

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