Hokkaido Raises Coronavirus Alert

Politics Lifestyle

Sapporo, Oct. 28 (Jiji Press)--The government of Hokkaido raised on Wednesday the novel coronavirus alert from Stage 1, the lowest level under its five-tier COVID-19 warning system, to Stage 2, following a recent spike in infection cases in the northernmost Japan prefecture.

The number of newly reported infection cases in the week to Tuesday stood at 291, far exceeding the threshold of 107 for lifting the alert to Stage 2. On Saturday, Hokkaido confirmed 60 new cases of the novel coronavirus, a record daily high in the prefecture.

Planning to take intensive measures in the upcoming two weeks, the Hokkaido government will call on residents to cooperate in the fight against COVID-19 based on the special law on dealing with the epidemic.

In Stage 2, the prefecture will ask residents to refrain from commuting to their workplaces and people with a fever or feeling ill to stay home. Residents will also be requested to avoid infection risks when eating and drinking in group settings. In particular, the prefecture will call for thorough measures to be implemented in Sapporo, the capital of Hokkaido, where a series of cluster infections have occurred recently.

Hokkaido Governor Naomichi Suzuki told a news conference in Sapporo on Wednesday that Stage 2 is an "crucial phase" for promoting social and economic activities and at the same time stepping up efforts to prevent the spread of the virus.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press