新着情報
新着情報

Governors message for the people of Fukushima

Governor’s message for the people of Fukushima (Friday, 15 May 2020)
First of all, I would like to express my deepest respect and gratitude to those of you who have been working hard on the front lines in the fight against COVID-19 including doctors, nurses, and hospital staff, clinical laboratory technologists as well as workers at public health centres countering infectious diseases.

Yesterday, the central government decided to lift the state of emergency for 39 prefectures including Fukushima prefecture ahead of the scheduled expiry on 31 May. Following the central government’s decision to extend the state of emergency to the entire nation on 16 April, the Fukushima Prefectural Government asked its residents and business operators to cooperate in taking various actions under the State of Emergency Measures for the Prevention of the Spread of the Novel Coronavirus in Fukushima Prefecture including: refraining from holding events or going out for nonurgent and nonessential reasons, and to restrict the use of facilities. As for the state of infections in the prefecture, a significant increase in the number of new cases has been suppressed to 0 per day for six days in a row as of yesterday, with the cumulative number of new infections standing only at 1 for the past week. During this period, medical treatment facilities have also been properly secured, ensuring enough beds at hospitals for people who have tested positive and securing facilities to admit patients with mild symptoms. Considering these circumstances and the central government’s decision, I have decided to lift the requests made under the State of Emergency Measures for the Prevention of the Spread of the Novel Coronavirus in Fukushima Prefecture today on 15 May. The requests which were in place have caused our residents and business operators trouble and inconvenience over the past month. I would like to extend my sincere gratitude again for your understanding and cooperation. On the other hand, we anticipate the battle against COVID-19 to be prolonged. While the emergency measures are to be lifted today, new clusters of infection may very well occur. This means that it is difficult to predict how things will change going forward. In order to prevent the spread of infections, I would like to ask everyone in the prefecture to take the following three actions.

First, I would like to talk about establishing a “New Lifestyle” and other measures. I ask you to thoroughly adopt a “New Lifestyle” approach where you need to continue to practice basic preventative measures such as continuing to avoid the “Three Cs”- “Closed spaces with poor ventilation”, “Crowded places with many people nearby”, “Close-contact settings such as close-range conversations” as well as wearing a mask, practicing hand hygiene including washing hands and observing social distancing. I ask business operators to promote efforts for reducing person-to-person contact during commuting hours including having staggering work schedules and encouraging workers to commute via bicycle. In consideration of the forthcoming prolonged response, I also ask business operators to introduce and utilize working from home, teleworking, and teleconferencing measures in place of traveling for business. I also ask you to refrain from traveling between and across prefectures for nonurgent and nonessential reasons as much as possible, especially to avoid traveling across “Prefectures under Specific Cautions” (special alert prefectures). In addition, please avoid going to places where clusters of infections have occurred and where the “Three Cs” overlap.

Second, I would like to touch upon the restriction on the use of facilities. Following the lifting of the emergency measures, I declare the lifting of our requests to cooperate in restricting the use of facilities except for kindergartens, elementary, junior and senior high schools, and special needs schools. The lifting of requests includes the request for reducing opening hours of restaurants and other such businesses. I ask schools to fully resume classes on 1 June. As preparations for this are necessary, I will lift the school-closure request on 24 May so that schools can reopen in stages from Monday, 25 May. Also, following a request I made at a meeting of the task force on 5 May, I have received a report from the superintendent of the Prefectural Board of Education that they have formulated guidelines on how educational activities should take place when schools are reopened. I ask prefectural schools to thoroughly take measures based on these guidelines, and for other educational institutions not under the jurisdiction of the Prefectural Board of Education to refer to the guidelines in question. I ask business operators and industry groups whose limitation of the use of facilities has been lifted today, to continue to thoroughly take basic preventative measures such as properly restricting entry, guiding visitors, having hand sanitizer available, asking visitors to wear a mask, and also to avoid the “Three Cs” completely, while having proper indoor ventilation and observing social distancing, etc. even after resuming operations. I also ask businesses which have not been subject to the shutdown requests to continue to thoroughly take preventative measures. We will be providing cash payments to businesses which cooperated with the shutdown requests up until 6 May. We will also be providing financial assistance to those businesses which have continued to cooperate with the shutdown requests even after 7 May so that they are able to take measures towards resuming their businesses operations. We began taking applications for both benefits today (15 May). In order to speedily implement these cash payments, we will be responding promptly and appropriately. We have also decided to put in place a subsidy for businesses which have not been subject to the shutdown requests, but which have experienced a significant drop in sales in order to support efforts against the spread of infection.

Third, I would like to talk about the request to refrain from holding events. I ask orgainsers planning to hold large-scale or nationwide events which exceed the predetermined scope to respond prudently by canceling or delaying those events in case it is difficult to take proper preventative measures. You can hold events other than those mentioned above, but please take proper preventative measures.

Lastly, it is likely that these measures above will need to be continued for an extended period of time in the battle against COVID-19. Please help to reduce the burden on our healthcare facilities by taking on measures which protect yourself, your loved ones, and our society. I hope each and every one of you change your daily habits in order to establish the “New Lifestyle”. Please do not level discrimination and prejudice against people who have tested positive for COVID-19 and those related to them as well as healthcare related workers who have been working hard to prevent the spread of infections. I would like to ask for your continued understanding and cooperation with consideration to others, your patience, hard work and ingenuity in coming together as one to support us in overcoming this difficult situation.
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