新着情報
新着情報

Governors message for the people of Fukushima

Governor’s message for the people of Fukushima (Tuesday, 5 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. I would also like to express my appreciation to those who have been working to support our daily lives by maintaining the distribution of goods, selling daily necessities, and other operations.

The state of emergency which had been declared based on the Act on Special Measures for Pandemic Influenza and New Infectious Diseases Preparedness and Response, has started producing some results as indicated in the number of new patients showing a downward trend. However, a resurgence of new infections could put an additional strain on the medical system. The central government, therefore, decided yesterday to extend the nationwide state of emergency until 31 May with the revision of some parts of the basic management policy.

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 take various actions including: refraining from holding events or going out for nonurgent and nonessential reasons, and to restrict the use of facilities. During the Golden Week holidays, I have been seeing news reports showing a significant drop in the number of people using trains and expressways, and people visiting tourist spots. I would like to extend my sincere gratitude to our residents for your understanding and cooperation.

On the other hand, as of today, the cumulative number of patients in the prefecture stands at 79. While a significant increase in the number of new patients has been suppressed to 0 to 3 new patients per day over the past two weeks, new clusters of infection may very well occur. This means that it is difficult to predict how things will change going forward. This situation has been exceedingly difficult for residents and business operators who have been cooperating with our requests and because of the severe conditions the local economy is under, the likes of which have not been seen before. However, In order to prevent the spread of infections in Fukushima prefecture, it has been determined that it is important to keep reducing person-to-person contact as much as possible and minimize the traveling of people between and across prefectures in consideration of the fact that the spread of infection is continuing in some prefectures. In response to the central government’s decision, I have revised some of the measures applied under the state of emergency and will ask you to continue taking the following measures from 7 May to 31 May.

Request to refrain from going out

First, I would like to talk about the request to refrain from going out. I ask you to keep avoiding going to nightclubs, hostess bars and the like in busy downtown areas. I also ask you to refrain from traveling between and across prefectures for nonurgent and nonessential reasons. Also, please avoid going to places where clusters of infections have occurred and the “Three Cs”- “Closed spaces with poor ventilation”, “Crowded places with many people nearby”, “Close-contact settings such as close-range conversations”overlap. Even when going out to places other than those mentioned above, please make sure to adopt a "New Lifestyle" approach where you avoid the “Three Cs”completely and take basic preventative measures including washing hands and observing social distancing.

Restriction on the use of facilities and other requests

Second, I would like to touch upon the restriction on the use of facilities. I ask business operators to continue to suspend business facilities except for ones essential for sustaining our daily lives such as hospitals, pharmacies, grocery stores, public transportation, as well as social welfare facilities including nurseries, certified daycare centers, after-school child-care service facilities and senior care facilities. Even while the state of emergency is in place, we will be considering the lifting of the restrictions on the use of facilities based on response guidelines which take into account factors such as the number of cases in the prefecture, neighboring prefectures’ responses, preventative steps against infection for each type of business. Based on the Prefectural Assembly decision today for financial support for cooperating businesses, we will be providing cash payments to businesses which have been cooperating with the shutdown requests to help prevent the spread of infections. Those business operators will need to adopt a "New Lifestyle" towards lifting of shutdown requests. We are considering other measures to support these businesses which are taking preventative actions against infection. I ask kindergartens, elementary, junior and senior high schools, and special needs schools to keep closed. However, considering children’s learning and their physical and mental health, it is desirable to lift the school closures as soon as possible. I ask educational institutions to work out viable educational approaches paying utmost attention to the prevention of infections and implement them step by step even during this temporary closure period. I also ask them to formulate guidelines on how educational activities should take place when schools are reopened. Taking such guidelines and the number of infections in the prefecture and other factors into consideration comprehensively, we will consider measures to deal with the education of children including the early lifting of our shutdown requests.

Request to refrain from holding events

Third, I would like to talk about the request to refrain from holding events. I ask you to refrain from holding any events where clusters of infections could occur and the“Three Cs”overlap. In particular, I ask orgainsers planning to hold a large-scale or nationwide event to respond prudently by canceling or delaying the event in case it is difficult to take proper preventative measures. You can hold comparatively small-scale events, but please take proper preventative measures.
I would like to ask everyone in the prefecture as well as business operators again to understand and cooperate with the following actions.

For residents of Fukushima 

Please thoroughly take basic preventative measures such as cough etiquette including wearing a mask, and hand washing. Also, avoid the “Three Cs”- “Closed spaces with poor ventilation”, “Crowded places with many people nearby”, “Close-contact settings such as close-range conversations”. If you have any symptoms such as a fever or cough, please refrain from commuting to work, etc.
Please refrain from going to nightclubs, hostess bars and the like in busy downtown areas and from traveling between and across prefectures for nonurgent and nonessential reasons as well as avoid going to places where clusters of infections have occurred and the“Three Cs”overlap.
If you have to come to Fukushima for an unavoidable reason such as a new job or a job transfer from “Prefectures under Specific Cautions” (special alert prefectures), please refrain from going out for at least two weeks to prevent further spread of infections as well as make sure to take care of yourself. If you have any symptoms, please contact one of the public health centre hotlines (Kikokusha-Sesshokusha-Sodan-Senta).
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.
For business operators

Please take preventative measures such as, hand washing in your office, and cough etiquette including wearing a mask to protect your employees, their family members and your customers, and make sure your employees take care of their own health by not having to come to work if they have symptoms including a fever.
Please take measures to reduce person-to-person contact such as introducing working from home, teleworking, and teleconferences.
I ask business operators to suspend businesses except for facilities essential for sustaining our daily lives and social welfare facilities.
I call on event organisers to refrain from holding events where clusters of infections could occur and the“Three Cs”overlap.
While these measures that are in place through the extension of the state of emergency will cause our residents and business operators trouble and inconvenience, it is strongly hoped that each and every one of us change our daily habits and establish a "New Lifestyle” as it is likely that these measures will need to be continued for an extended period of time. Please help to reduce the burden on our healthcare facilities by taking on measures which protect yourself, your loved ones, and our society. 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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