Tokyo Governor Tells People to Stay Home This Weekend

Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike called for Tokyo residents on Wednesday night to stay at home, after Tokyo confirmed 41 new cases of the new coronavirus disease (COVID-19) on Wednesday — the third straight day of record increases. Koike enjoined residents to work from home, and to not go out at night or on the weekend.

Tokyo has been issuing policies against large events and gatherings since February 21, but large crowds went to parks citywide this past holiday weekend for the traditional cherry blossom viewing (hanami). A K-1 martial arts event attracted 6,500 attendees in the neighboring prefecture of Saitama, despite requests by the prefectural government to exercise self-restraint.

The Japanese government also urged those coming to the country from the United States to self-quarantine for two weeks after arriving, and to refrain from using public transport, whether or not they exhibit symptoms of the disease. Visitors from 40 other countries including China, South Korea, and European nations are already under these guidelines. The Japanese foreign ministry raised the travel alert for the entire world to level 2 on Wednesday. The alert advises against non-essential trips from Japan to other parts of the world.

Shogakukan released a statement on Tuesday that one of its employees, a male in his 30s, has been diagnosed with COVID-19. The statement explained that the employee had developed a fever on March 16, and did not go to his office on March 17. He later went for a medical examination with a PCR test, which confirmed that he was positive for the disease.

Shogakukan noted that it has observed government recommendations in combating the spread of the disease by determining the employee’s prior actions and the people with whom he has had contact, allowing the employee to work from home, observing and reporting the employee’s medical status, cleaning and disinfecting the employee’s department, and overseeing the health of all the company’s employees.

The official website for the kabuki play adaptation of Masashi Kishimoto‘s Naruto manga announced on Wednesday that the play’s run at the Misono-za theater in Nagoya from April 4 to 26 has been canceled to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus. It will have more information about ticket refunds at a later date.

The first reported cases of COVID-19 were in Wuhan, China in December, and then the disease began to spread in varying rates and intensities across many parts of the globe through incubation in human hosts. The World Health Organization (WHO) declared a world health emergency on January 30, and announced on March 11 that it is classifying the outbreak as a pandemic. As of Wednesday, the WHO reported that there are 416,686 infected individuals worldwide. 18,589 individuals have died from the disease.

As of Wednesday, the WHO reported that Japan has 1,193 cases of COVID-19 with 43 deaths, including 65 new infections confirmed in the past day. These numbers do not include the number of cases from the Diamond Princess cruise ship docked in Yokohama. That cruise ship had 712 infected passengers with seven deaths.

Sources: NHK (link 2, link 3), Shogakukan, , Naruto kabuki play’s website, Nikkan Sports via Otakomu