Japan Coronavirus Panel Urges Review of "Go To" Campaigns

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Tokyo, Nov. 20 (Jiji Press)--An expert panel on the novel coronavirus epidemic advised the Japanese government on Friday to review its "Go To" series demand-stimulating campaigns in regions where infections are spreading, including the possibility of excluding some areas from the initiatives.

In a meeting on the day, the panel, led by Shigeru Omi, head of the Japan Community Health Care Organization, also called on local authorities to request restaurants and other establishments to shorten operating hours and ask residents to refrain from going out at night, at a time when the country is believed to be facing a risk of seeing an explosive spread of infections.

In some prefectures, the coronavirus situation is about to enter Stage 3, which indicates a rapid increase in infections. Stage 3 is the second most severe level on the four-tier scale for measuring the degree of spread of the coronavirus.

While citing increases in cases of people catching the virus from infected family members and at workplaces and during dining sessions, the panel said that work to identify infection routes and surveys on infection clusters "will become even more difficult." It also warned of growing infection risks in the entire society and greater pressure on the medical system.

The infection situation in Tokyo and the western prefecture of Osaka is now close to entering Stage 3, and Sapporo, the capital of the northernmost prefecture of Hokkaido, is already in the second-worst stage, Omi told a press conference after the meeting.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

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