|A message to the people of Kochi Prefecture〈Dec.2nd 2020〉|
Today, 8 new cases of Covid-19 have been confirmed in the prefecture. In the past 7 days, the number of confirmed infections has risen to 16. At present, the source of exposure for 9 of the cases is unknown.
Due to this, I cannot deny the possibility that community spread is occurring within the prefecture.
For this reason, though we had only yesterday raised our “Infectious Disease Response Level” to caution (yellow), we have decided to raise it again to warning (orange). To put it in terms of weather advisories, this would correspond to a raising of alert status from an advisory to warning.
Though the situation in Kochi does not compare to those in larger cities/areas such as Tokyo, Osaka, or Hokkaido, we nonetheless find ourselves in a situation where we need to be more thorough in our preventative measures than we have until now.
Looking at the circumstances surrounding the confirmed cases of the past few days, “eating in groups” is suspected to be the source of multiple cases.
The act of “eating in groups” is, in fact, at the heart of my request to the residents of Kochi prefecture over the next 2 weeks.
Although we are at a time of year where New Year’s parties are being planned, I would like to ask that the scope of these events, both in participant size and in length, be made smaller than they would typically.
My stance regarding a desire for the concurrence of “Socio-Economic activity” and “disease prevention” remains unchanged, so I do not wish to go as far as asking for these events to be cancelled all together.
And so, I would like to ask that the length and attendee numbers for these parties to be curtailed if possible.
In addition, I would like to once again ask for the thorough adherence to standard safety practices including wearing a mask, washing your hands, and avoidance of the 3 C’s.
We must at once prioritize economic recovery and prevention of the spread of Covid-19. Currently, regarding prevention of spread, we are at a stage where additional efforts are required.
Through your cooperation in regards to the holding of New Year’s parties, it is my hope that everyone will be able to welcome Christmas and the new year safely and peacefully. Please try, as much as possible, to limit the scope and duration of these events.
I would ask all residents of Kochi Prefecture for their understanding and cooperation.
December 2, 2020
Kochi Prefecture Covid-19 Emergency Headquarters Chief
(Governor) Hamada Seiji