July 12, 2020
7 new confirmed cases of Covid-19 have been announced in Hiroshima City over the past few days. After a lull of about a month this brings the number of new cases in Hiroshima Prefecture to 10, with Tokyo which is experiencing a large spike in cases as the source of many of them.
Tokyo business trip thought to be source of 4 new cases of Covid-19
A company employee in their 50s (Hiroshima City Case #87) who traveled to Tokyo on business by airplane July 1-2 was confirmed to have the coronavirus on July and admitted to the Covid-19 ward at Funairi Hospital on July 9. As the patient was still experiencing severe symptoms at the time of the press conference on July 10, it was unclear whether the patient had been to work etc between the onset of symptoms and being tested.
Two members of his family (Hiroshima City Case #89 & #90) also tested positive later on July 10. It was announced July 11 that one of these family members is a public employee in their 20s (Hiroshima City Case #90) who works Development Bureau at the Godochosha government building in Hiroshima City. The are reported to have continued going to work until July 8.
A colleague of Case #87, a man in his 40s, has also tested positive (Hiroshima City Case #91). The two are reported to have traveled together by car. However, the man in his 40s also traveled to Yamaguchi and Fukuoka on business recently.
RCC producer tests positive, connected to 2nd case
A man in his 50s who works as a producer at the head office of local media company RCC (Hiroshima City Case #88). He developed a fever on July 5, was examined at a city medical facility and picked up medicine from a pharmacy on July 6. On July 9, still experiencing fever and showing signs of dehydration, he was taken to a second medical facility by ambulance on July 9. He was referred for coronavirus testing and moved to a designated Covid-19 facility on July 10. His symptoms had eased by the time of the city press conference mid-afternoon July 10. He is reported to traveled outside of Hiroshima Prefecture (Chugoku and Shikoku region) for on two days to two different locations 12 to 13 days before symptoms presented.
A company employee in their 50s (Hiroshima City Case #92) who is said to have had contact in a work setting and traveled by car with the RCC employee has also tested positive on July 5. They developed symptoms on July 9 and a fever on July 10. They were tested on July 10 after being contacted as part of contact tracing connected to the RCC producer. The patient, whose gender is being withheld, is not an employee of RCC and is now hospitalized in a designated medical facility.
Hiroshima City employee connected to Tokyo theater cluster
A woman in her 20s who works in the city Finance Bureau (Hiroshima City Case #93) and is reported to have attended an event in Tokyo on July 3, traveling by Shinkansen and returning to Hiroshima on the same day. She began to develop a sore throat on July 6 and headache on July 8. She put herself forward for testing on July 8 after it was announced (by one of the cast members on their Twitter feed) that several other people connected to the same Tokyo event had tested positive for Covid-19. She tested positive for Covid-19 on July 10 and was hospitalized on July 11. She is said gone to work July 7-9, but is reported to have had no close contact with Hiroshima citizens (other than her colleagues) and to have worn a mask whenever she left her house.
The event in question appears to be the stage show The Jinro: Ikemen Jinro Idol Wa Dare Da? which played in Shinjuku until July 5. The 186 theater limited admission to 100 people and although windows were opened before and after the show, the venue was closed during the actually performance. So far, 20 people connected with the show (including performers, staff and audience members) have tested positive for Covid-19.
Hiroshima City: Too early to describe this as a 2nd wave
After approximately a month of no new cases, there have now been 9 new confirmed cases of Covid-19 in Hiroshima City, plus one case in Hatsukaichi, since the beginning of July. Excluding cases where the virus has returned, this brings the total number of confirmed cases to 92 in Hiroshima City and 174 across the prefecture.
According to officials, the number of “close contacts” associated with the more recently announced 5 cases is thought to be under 10 per case, but the city policy is test beyond those usually considered a “close contact”.
The official Hiroshima City line is that this increase in cases does not constitute a second wave, but it is clear that no-one is safe from the virus and called on everyone to take the risks seriously and modify behavior to reduce the chance of further spread. Great caution was urged on people and workers visiting places like Tokyo where the number of cases are spiking.
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