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14 mai 2020 | 17h51 UTC

Japan: Government lifts state of emergency in majority of prefectures May 14 /update 25

Japan Alerte de sécurité

Japanese authorities lift COVID-19 state of emergency in 39 prefectures May 14; follow government directives

TIMEFRAME expected from 14/5/2020, 12h00 until 21/5/2020, 11h59 (Asia/Tokyo). COUNTRY/REGION Japan

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Event

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Thursday, May 14, lifted the state of emergency in most prefectures amid a drop in coronavirus disease (COVID-19) cases in 39 of Japan's 47 prefectures. However, the cities of Tokyo and Osaka, as well as the island of Hokkaido, will remain under local states of emergency as cases continue to rise, albeit less so in recent weeks. In the prefectures where the emergency has been lifted, the number of infections was less than 0.5 new cases per 100,000 people. Abe further stated that a government review will be conducted on the remaining prefectures next week to determine if the state of emergency can be lifted nationwide prior to Sunday, May 31, when it is due to expire.

The state of emergency in the remaining prefectures does not include a lockdown but gives governments the power to request that residents remain at home unless they are buying food or seeking medical assistance.

Furthermore, Tokyo governor Yuriko Koike requested on Tuesday, May 5, that nonessential businesses in the city refrain from operating until Sunday, May 31, amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The Tokyo government will provide financial aid to businesses that remain closed during this period.

The Japanese government announced on Monday, April 27, that it extended an entry ban on foreign nationals to include an additional 14 countries. Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Oman, Djibouti, Peru, the Dominican Republic, Antigua and Barbuda, Saint Christopher and Nevis, and Barbados are included in the latest entry ban. The updated list will cover a total of 87 countries and can be found here. Foreign travelers who have been to these territories in the preceding 14 days will be prohibited from entering Japan. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has also advised its citizens against nonessential travel abroad, particularly to the countries mentioned in the latest measures.

As of May 14, authorities have confirmed 16,049 COVID-19 cases nationwide, including 678 deaths. Further international spread of the virus is likely over the coming weeks.

Context

The first case of COVID-19 was reported on December 31 and the source of the outbreak has been linked to a wet market in Wuhan (Hubei province, China). Human-to-human and patient-to-medical staff transmission of the virus have been confirmed. Many of the associated fatalities have been due to pneumonia caused by the virus. Cases of the virus have been confirmed in numerous countries and territories worldwide. Virus-screening and quarantining measures are being implemented at airports worldwide, as well as extensive travel restrictions. On March 11, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the global outbreak a pandemic.

Pneumonia symptoms include dry cough, chest pain, fever, and trouble breathing. Pneumonia can be contagious and can be transmitted from human to human. The influenza virus, or the flu, is a common cause of viral pneumonia.

Advice

Measures adopted by local authorities evolve quickly and are usually effective immediately. Depending on the evolution of the outbreak in other countries, authorities are likely to modify, at very short notice, the list of countries whose travelers are subject to border control measures or entry restrictions upon their arrival to the territory in question. It is advised to postpone nonessential travel due to the risk that travelers may be refused entry or be subject to quarantine upon their arrival or during their stay.

To reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission, travelers are advised to abide by the following measures: 

  • Frequently clean hands by applying an alcohol-based hand rub or washing with soap and water.
  • When coughing and sneezing, cover mouth and nose with a flexed elbow or tissue; if used, throw the tissue away immediately and wash hands.
  • If experiencing a fever, cough, difficulty breathing, or any other symptoms suggestive of respiratory illness, including pneumonia, call emergency services before going to the doctor or hospital to prevent the potential spread of the disease.

 

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