Yesterday, February 2, the national government decided, apart from Tochigi Prefecture, to extend the declaration of a state of emergency for 10 prefectures until March 7, including Kanagawa.
Based on the extension of the state of emergency, the City of Yokohama will continue to direct public facilities to generally be closed by 8 p.m., and city-sponsored events will be limited to 5,000 attendants and venues capped at 50% capacity or less. Schools will follow comprehensive preventive measures, and educational activities will be allowed to continue, with careful attention paid to the well-being of children, students, and faculty.
The number of new daily cases in Yokohama began to increase in mid-December of last year, rose suddenly in early January, and reached a record 542 cases on January 18.
Currently, as of February 2, 33 people, 4% of the total cases, are hospitalized with severe symptoms; 121 people, 17%, are experiencing moderate symptoms; and the remaining 577 people, 79%, are showing mild or no symptoms. Of the 500 beds the city secured for patients recovering from COVID-19 with severe, moderate, or mild symptoms, 272 are in use. Additionally, it is necessary to provide care for patients with fever or other symptoms, which, combined with positive cases, represents 413 beds in use.
Though the medical care system is shouldering a severe burden, Yokohama’s Infectious Disease & Medical Coordination Headquarters, Y-CERT, is committing all its efforts to ensure patients who need emergency care can be hospitalized through coordination with health care providers to organize a special system to have doctors on duty at all times. Every effort is also being made to promote mutual collaboration and cooperation among local medical institutions to expand the number of places that can accept patients.
The number of new cases last week (January 27 to February 2) was reported at 1,077, a drop from the previous week, clearly demonstrating the results of the efforts of our residents and businesses.
I would like to express my deepest gratitude to everyone who has refrained from nonessential outings and observed thorough preventive measures, as well as to all health care professionals and all those working to protect lives and livelihoods.
The city recently announced a budget proposal for fiscal 2021 totaling 240.5 billion yen for measures to protect daily life and the economy from the effects of COVID-19. A special team is also being assembled to ensure that the life-saving vaccinations can be provided steadily and smoothly to each and every resident. We will continue to dedicate all our efforts to protecting our residents and businesses by prioritizing enhanced measures to prevent infection and achieve economic revitalization.
We can absolutely stop the spread of infection if all of us remain vigilant and committed to observing rigorous preventive measures. Let’s work together to overcome this challenge, get the state of emergency declaration lifted, and return to our everyday lives as soon as possible.