更新日:2020年12月18日

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Message by Governor Kuroiwa(英語)

information on corona

Message by Governor Kuroiwa

A COVID-19 patient in his fifties who was staying at the recuperation facility prepared by Kanagawa Prefectural Government passed away on December 11 although he had no underlying diseases.  I express my deep regret over the death and offer my heartfelt condolences to the family of the deceased.

It is extremely regrettable that the patient died during the recuperation period.  I have to say that there was a failure in the response of the prefectural government in that its system did not work properly to connect the patient in the facility to a doctor or medical institution.  Please accept my sincere apologies.

The prefectural government started what it can do right away for improvement, such as increasing frequency of safety confirmation in addition to daily observation of health conditions of patients.

We take what happened seriously for reflection, and examine what was wrong with our response to ensure an environment where patients at the facilities or home can concentrate on recovery free from concern.

New cases of COVID-19 infection exceeded 200 a day consecutively in Kanagawa Prefecture.  On the 11th, the number hit the record high of 285.  There is no sign of improvement in the situation.  The medical institutions in Kanagawa reviewed the criteria for hospital admission, but the tight situation still remains.

Even if we can manage the present situation, in case we have more COVID-19 patients, it may be difficult for hospitals to accept emergency patients suffering from injuries or other illness.

We cannot overcome the novel coronavirus pandemic unless we take this situation as our own matter.  Don’t think that COVID-19 is someone else’s problem.  Don’t think that you won’t be infected.  If you don’t change your behavior, you may not be able to receive necessary treatment in the year-end and New Year period.  Please have a sense of crisis as it may become a reality. 

To urge understanding and change in behavior, I ask you the following based on item 9, Article 24 of the Act on Special Measures.

[To business operators]

  • I strongly request you to thoroughly practice teleworking and staggering working hours as in April when the State of Emergency Declaration was issued.  Please strongly request your employees not to have end-of-year/New Year drinking parties.
  • We made a request to restaurants and karaoke bars that offer alcohol in Yokohama and Kawasaki Cities to shorten business hours to 22:00 for the period from December 7 to 17.  Now the requested period is extended to January 11, 2021.  We will increase the financial compensation for cooperation to \40,000 per day.

[To prefectural citizens]

  • I ask all the prefectural citizens to thoroughly practice basic infection prevention measures of MASK on every occasion (M for mask wearing in an appropriate manner, A for alcoholic disinfection, S for screening using acrylic boards, etc. and K for keeping social distance and ventilating, plus humidifying in winter time).  Especially be careful about droplets infection.  To reduce contacts with others, avoid outings as long as possible.
  • People in their 20’s to 50’s are socially active, and they may transmit the virus to others or family members without knowing if they are infected without developing symptoms.  I strongly ask them to refrain from visiting restaurants and karaoke bars that offer alcohol and night-time entertainment areas, as people tend to relax their guard under the influence of alcohol.

[Year-end and New Year holidays]
Try to reduce contacts with others during the year-end and New Year holidays.

  • Refrain from having year-end/New Year gatherings.  To prevent infection, have an online party instead.  If you need to have a gathering at a restaurant, visit a place that displays the List of Measures against COVID-19 Infection.  It may be a bit bothersome, but keep wearing a mask when dining and take it off only when you actually eat or drink.
  • Don’t stick to the idea that you need to visit a shrine for worshipping during the first three days of the New Year.
    Enjoy cheering the annual Hakone Ekiden road relay race on TV or online.
    Visiting your hometown may transmit infection to the elderly.  Think about returning home at a different time.  Use phone or video to show your face.
  • The national government decided to suspend the Go To Travel campaign nationwide during the year-end and New Year holidays to strengthen its measures to stop the infection.  Along with this, the prefectural government decided to suspend the new sales of “Kanagawa Citizens’ Discount Coupon” and its application to the already booked trips.

Medical professionals are working hard to protect people’s lives from the novel coronavirus through the holiday period.  The prefectural government immediately starts considering a program to offer financial compensation for cooperation to the medical institutions that will accept patients during the holidays.  To stop the surge in infection in Kanagawa as soon as possible, a united effort by all of us is required.


December 15, 2020
KUROIWA Yuji
Governor of Kanagawa Prefecture