Today, the national government decided to announce the declaration of a state of emergency for Kanagawa Prefecture from August 2 through August 31. Based on the surge of infections we are seeing currently, I believe it was an unavoidable decision.
Yokohama identified 540 new cases today, which approaches the highest number for a single day so far. The total number of new cases last week was 2,025, which represents a 141% change from the previous week.
The occupancy rate for the 554 hospital beds secured by Yokohama is at 52%. With emergency care for patients suffering from heatstroke on the rise, however, if infections continue to rise, we may face a situation where regular care has to be cut back to deal with COVID-19 cases. We must curb the spread of infections at all costs.
I ask all residents:
• Please refrain from outings that are non-essential to your daily life and observe basic preventive measures. The Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games are underway without spectators. Cheering on the athletes from home will help prevent the spread of infection.
• Please stay away from places where there is a high risk of infection as well as avoid times when areas are crowded.
I also ask our local businesses:
• We ask drinking and dining establishments to please suspend alcoholic beverage services all day.
• Please make use of remote work, flexible working hours, staggered commuting and lunch breaks, and other measures to help workers reduce contact with others while working or commuting.
As of today, July 28, nearly 680 thousand elderly residents will have received both shots of the vaccine, and we expect that all elderly residents who want it will have completed their vaccinations by tomorrow. The results of vaccinations are starting to become clear, as while elderly residents made up 31% of cases in February of this year, as of July that number has dropped dramatically to just 6%. We will continue to work to secure a steady supply of vaccine from the national government so that anyone who wishes to get the vaccine can do so.
Yokohama will continue to make all efforts to prioritize vaccinations and other preventive measures to restore our normal daily lives as soon as possible. We are also offering special consultation for local businesses. The city will continue to provide you with our full support.
Whatever it takes, I want all our residents and businesses to make it through this challenging time together. Thank you for your continued cooperation and understanding.