The national government decided today to extend the declaration of a state of emergency until March 21 for Tokyo and the surrounding three prefectures, including Kanagawa.
About 430 thousand of our residents commute to Tokyo’s 23 wards for work or school, and as the number of infections has not adequately decreased in many areas, I believe the extension is a measure that cannot be avoided.
With the state of emergency extended, the City of Yokohama will continue to direct public facilities to close by 8 p.m. and limit attendance to city-organized events to a maximum of 5,000 or 50% occupancy. Municipal schools will continue educational activities while keeping comprehensive measures in place to prevent infection while monitoring the health of children, faculty, and staff.
Thanks to our residents and businesses working together with us to implement infectious disease countermeasures, the spread of infection in the city has steadily slowed over the two months since January 7. I would like to express my heartfelt gratitude to everyone for their efforts during this time.
The current number of new cases over the past week (February 27 to March 5) was 311, a significant drop from the record 2,723 cases in mid-January. Out of all hospitalized patients, 10 are experiencing severe symptoms (3%), 58 have moderate symptoms (18%), and the remaining 248 show mild or no symptoms (79%). There are 132 beds in use by patients testing positive, and, adding the 280 beds in use by patients with fever or other symptoms who might possibly be infected, brings the occupancy rate of the 518 beds secured by Yokohama for COVID-19 patients to 54.1%. Both regular and infectious disease medical care are being provided, but as the bed occupancy rate is declining at a slower rate than the number of new patients, we are still one step away.
The decisive factor to curb COVID-19 will be vaccinations. To ensure our residents can safely and reliably receive vaccinations, the city is committing its full efforts to vaccine preparations, and vaccination simulations are being planned. The dedicated call center is equipped with 300 lines, so please call if you have concerns.
I wish to express my deepest appreciation once again to everyone observing the preventive measures as well as to all health care professionals and all those working to protect lives and livelihoods. Despite the dire situation facing its business environment, we are also grateful for the cooperation from everyone in the food service industry. Thank you for your continued cooperation to help prevent the spread of infection.
A warmer and merrier spring season approaches, but we call on all residents to continue to remain vigilant and observe thorough measures to prevent infection. As much as possible, when dining with those outside your household, please keep the number as low as possible, and please refrain from celebrations, cherry blossom viewing parties, welcoming or sending-off parties, and other social events where there is food and drink. Let’s work together to make it through these next two critical weeks.