Coronavirus Update (20 May)
Here are some updates:
State of Emergency
A decision will be made tomorrow about whether the state of emergency can be lifted in the remaining 8 prefectures. One of the numerical targets proposed by the government panel of experts for lifting the emergency in the remaining prefectures is whether there is an average of 0.5 or fewer new cases per 100,000 people in a given one-week period.
In light of this criteria, the government is currently planning to withdraw the state of emergency for the remaining 3 prefectures in the Kansai area — Osaka, Hyogo and Kyoto, tomorrow afternoon, barring the emergence of any new clusters.
Although new confirmed case totals have recently reached the single digits in Tokyo, the national capital region and Hokkaido still do not yet meet the numerical target and may remain under a state of emergency until the end of the month.
Meanwhile in KumamotoThe final category of business that until now remained under a request to close will be allowed to open tomorrow, 21 May. This includes businesses such as karaoke boxes and cabarets. The prefecture has released new checklists for these businesses as well. At places such as cabarets and host clubs, staff are being asked to avoid having conversations in front of or beside customers, and interact with customers from a distance of at least 1 metre.
The prefecture is asking residents to avoid patronising businesses where safety measures are not being taken or which fail to display the prefecture’s safety checklists.
Updated Translations of Health Ministry’s Basic Policies, Situation Reports etc.
Since the state of emergency was partially lifted last week, the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare has released translated documents containing its revised basic policy on how it will approach COVID-19 going forward, an English translation of the expert panel recommendations, conceptual diagrams, etc., and a PPT presentation summarizing the current situation in Japan as of 18 May.
As we move forward into our “new lifestyle” in which we are being asked to balance the continuation of economic activity with measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19, we think it would be a good idea for JETs to familiarise themselves with current Japanese government policy. Here is the recommended reading list:
- Basic Policies for Novel Coronavirus Disease Control by the Government of Japan (Summary) – https://www.mhlw.go.jp/content/10900000/000631465.pdf
- Summary of 14 May 2020 Expert Meeting on the Novel Coronavirus Disease Control (Analysis of the Response to the Novel Coronavirus and Recommendations) – https://www.mhlw.go.jp/content/10900000/000631466.pdf
- PPT with Updates on COVID-19 in Japan as of 18 May 2020 – https://www.mhlw.go.jp/content/10900000/000631469.pdf
- Novel Coronavirus Control Measures by Region (Conceptual Diagram) – https://www.mhlw.go.jp/content/10900000/000631468.pdf
- Example of practicing “New Lifestyle” – https://www.mhlw.go.jp/content/10900000/000628611.pdf
Coronavirus Survey for Foreign Residents
The Kumamoto chapter of Kumustaka, a non-governmental organisation supporting international residents (immigrants, migrant workers, and refugees) in Japan, has created a survey in order to better understand coronavirus-related problems currently faced by foreigners living in Kumamoto. Please answer the survey if you have a chance.