Fewer People Seen in Downtown Sapporo in Coronavirus Emergency

Society Lifestyle Politics

Sapporo, Feb. 29 (Jiji Press)--Fewer people were seen in the city center of Sapporo, the capital of Hokkaido, on Saturday, a day after Hokkaido Governor Naomichi Suzuki called on residents of the northernmost Japan prefecture to refrain from going out this weekend amid the spread of the novel coronavirus.

Many of the people on the streets were wearing face masks, after the governor declared a state of emergency on Friday.

"I was surprised by the sudden announcement," said a 23-year-old woman working in the medical sector. "It's difficult to keep everyone at home as there are many people, like me, who have to work at weekends," she said, on her way to her workplace.

"I'm confused as I was told to go home, but to refrain from going out at the same time," Tetsunosuke Imura, a 17-year-old high school student, said at Sapporo Station of Hokkaido Railway Co., or JR Hokkaido, on his way to his home in the city of Kushiro, Hokkaido, from a student dormitory in the city of Iwamizawa in the prefecture.

"I'm worried about being infected while I'm traveling," Imura said.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

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