Barbecue Party Suspected as Cause of Infections at GSDF

Society Lifestyle

Tokyo, Oct. 5 (Jiji Press)--A barbecue party held under closed, crowded and close-contact settings may have led to the spread of novel coronavirus infections among Japanese Ground Self-Defense Force personnel, officials of the Defense Ministry’s Ground Staff Office said Monday.

Twenty-eight female GSDF members who participated in an education course between early July and late September have tested positive for the virus, including one whose infection was confirmed on Monday. The program was offered at the GSDF’s Camp Asaka, which straddles Tokyo and Saitama Prefecture.

The 28 members belong to camps in 15 prefectures, including Hokkaido, Aomori, Iwate, Shizuoka, Nagano, Kyoto, Okayama, Saga and Okinawa. They tested positive on or after last Wednesday, when they returned to their respective camps after finishing the education course, which was organized for female personnel, according to the officials.

The barbecue party, joined by 44 personnel, was held in Saitama on Sept. 26, when no program of the education course was offered, with the participants using private-sector buses to travel to and from the site for the recreational activity.

The GSDF members submitted a notice on their going out on the day off in advance, but did not report that they would hold a barbecue party.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press