Message from the Governor of Kochi Prefecture regarding COVID-19〈28 June 2021〉

A message to the people of Kochi Prefecture〈28 June 2021〉
【Kochi Prefecture HP】<Japanese>↓

<English translation>

  • Looking at the current state of COVID-19 infections in Kochi prefecture, it appears we have emerged from the recent period of widespread infection. However, within the last two to three weeks, there have been some days where new daily infections have been in the teens. Due to this, we can see that case numbers are now starting to slowly increase once again.
  • When looking at the time required for infection rates to reduce, during the most recent wave of infection it took a much longer time when compared to the third wave of infections. It appears that this is due to the highly infection nature of COVID-19 variant strains.
  • Furthermore, recently we have seen the spread of localised clusters of infections in areas surrounding Kochi city such as Nankoku City, Kami City and Tosa City due to groups dining out and going to karaoke, with this being another factor in the drawing out of the moderate level of new infections.
  • Therefore, I believe we are at a junction point in which if we let our guard down, this could lead to the rapid nationwide spread of the virus. In particular, I would ask for the strong vigilance of residents of Nankoku City, Kami City and Tosa City or those who commute through these areas.
  • Due to these trying circumstances, I ask for your understanding that I am unable to remove my request to all Kochi citizens to refrain from dining out in groups of more than four people and for longer than two hours that was set to expire at the end of this month. This request has been extended until 11 July 2021. I apologize for the inconvenience and ask for your cooperation in abiding by these guidelines.
  • In addition, I would like to draw attention to the fact that participating in karaoke without a mask carries a very high risk of infection. Within our prefecture this activity has led to clusters of infections on numerous occasions, and so I ask for your cooperation to avoid this high-risk activity.
  • Meanwhile, due to the cooperation of the people of Kochi and the municipalities of Kochi, the vaccination of elderly citizens is progressing well.
  • However, while it has been confirmed that the vaccine is effective in reducing the severity of the virus, it does not mean that vaccinated citizens are immune.
  • If citizens neglect basic infection prevention methods just because they are vaccinated, they risk becoming infected themselves, or infecting their loved ones and friends.
  • Also, one dose of the vaccine does not provide adequate antibody protection. It is thought that it takes one to two weeks after receiving the second dose of the vaccine for it to start providing optimal protection.
  • Considering these facts, it is necessary even for those who have been fully vaccinated to continue thoroughly taking basic infection prevention methods such as wearing a mask, sanitizing theirs hands regularly and avoiding the three Cs.
  • We are at a critical junction point in which our actions will determine if there is another rapid spread of infection. Due to this, I once again ask for the cooperation of all residents of Kochi, including those who are fully vaccinated, to continue to take basic infection prevention measures and abide by the guidelines outlined above regarding dining out.

28 June 2021
Hamada Seiji, Governor of Kochi