A message from Governor Tasso during the 46th meeting of The Iwate Prefecture COVID-19 Countermeasures HQ (January 8th 2022)
Today, we have confirmed the first case of community transmission of the Omicron variant.
At this stage, Hiroshima, Yamaguchi and Okinawa have announced a quasi-state of emergency against the spread of coronavirus. Large city areas such as Tokyo and Osaka are also experiencing huge increases in daily case numbers due to the Omicron variant.
Although our prefecture is currently at Level 1 with an infection rate of 2.7 people per 100,000 people during the last week, there are concerns that this number will drastically increase, similar to the aforementioned prefectures, as several cases of community transmission have been confirmed.
As the risk of infection is increasing, today, we will introduce the “Iwate Declaration of Vigilance” to ensure that everyone is even more thorough with their infection prevention measures.
I will not ask you to restrict your movements, but I will ask you to keep the dangers of the virus in mind and be thorough in practising basic prevention measures to prevent further spread of the virus.
- Please properly follow the basic prevention measures such as proper usage of non-woven masks, frequent washing of hands, usage of hand sanitizer, and avoiding the 3 C’s.
- When travelling, be aware of the current situation and restrictions of your destination and take care when moving in the area. Please make careful considerations when travelling to areas where the spread of the virus is rapidly increasing.
- It is recommended that you go to restaurants that are approved under the “Iwate Restaurant Safe Practices Certification System” as prevention measures are in place at these restaurants. Please wear masks when having conversations.
- Please be thorough in protecting yourself against the virus even when with coworkers or friends.
From tomorrow (9th January), regardless of vaccination status, we will be offering free PCR and antigen tests for those who are asymptomatic but have been to areas where the spread of the virus has been increasing, have been in an environment where close contact with people from areas of concern was frequent, or are worried that they have been infected with the virus.
For those who have symptoms, please refrain from going outside and travelling, and contact the relevant medical staff by phone to get a consultation.
I ask for your cooperation in following the above measures as it is important to quickly identify cases to stop the spread of the virus.
I also ask you to not harass or discriminate against those infected and their families, and instead treat them with respect.
By preventing the spread of coronavirus and ensuring the risk of infection is low, we will be able to engage in economic and societal activities. Let’s come together as the people of Iwate to prevent the spread of the virus.
Please note that, in the event that our health system becomes overwhelmed with the increase in cases, we will consider announcing a state of emergency or quasi-state of emergency, which includes placing restrictions on everyone. I ask for your cooperation in preventing the spread of the virus to prevent this from occurring.