Emergency measures extended as number of COVID-19 cases drop

The number of daily confirmed cases of COVID-19 has dropped steeply in recent days and the pressure on available hospital beds is easing. In the week up to February 6, the number of new cases in Hiroshima Prefecture has dropped to 3.1 per 100,000 people. Authorities, however, are asking that people cooperate with continued virus prevention measures until February 21.


Emergency measures extended

Hiroshima Prefecture is extending business restrictions to help control the spread of COVID-19 for the 3rd time from February 8. Business hours of restaurants and bars in Hiroshima city will continue to be restricted until February 21, though they will be allowed to stay open for an hour longer; until 9pm (with last orders for alcohol at 8pm). Businesses that cooperate with the restrictions will be eligible for a subsidy of ¥280,000 and those that close completely will receive ¥380,000.

Prefectural citizens are still being asked to limit inessential outings as much as possible. Public facilities such as the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum, however, will start to reopen and events attended by up to 5,000 people will be allowed under certain conditions.

People are asked to continue to refrain from business travel to and from prefectures still under the state of emergency.


General PCR testing on hold

Plans to conduct up to 800,000 free PCR tests on Hiroshima residents and workers, later scaled back to around 240,000 (based on the projected number of people who would step forward), have been put on hold as the daily number of confirmed positive cases drop.

Source: Chugoku Shimbun

As to if and when the testing may happen, authorities said they will keep an eye on the situation. As Tokyo may be planning to restart the Go To Travel campaign in March, this is probably a wise move.


COVID-19 vaccinations over 65s may start in April

The latest estimate of the start of COVID-19 vaccinations for the over 65s in the Chugoku region’s prefectural cities is beginning of April at the earliest.

Prefectural governments declared that the national government’s January announcement that they would be basing the roll out of the vaccine on the My Number system as “late” and called on Tokyo to provide details of the number of vaccines available and timing of roll out as soon as possible.

Source: Chugoku Shimbun