Residents of Yokohama,
This is Mayor Hayashi Fumiko.
Today, a state of emergency was declared for Kanagawa and the other two prefectures in the Tokyo metropolitan area. It will be in place through August 31. Accordingly, Yokohama will direct public facilities to close by 8 p.m., events at facilities to end by 9 p.m., and to suspend new reservations during the state of emergency. Also, city-organized or co-organized events will continue to end by 9 p.m. and now be asked to cap attendance at 5,000 people or half the venue’s capacity.
We face a wave of infections stronger than ever before. COVID-19 infections in Yokohama have surged since mid-July, and there were 825 new cases yesterday, the most so far. This last week saw 3,390 total new cases, no less than 2.4 times the previous week. One reason for this surge is the Delta variant, reported to be more infectious than the original virus. The proportion of delta infections among new cases has grown to 44% in the prefecture.
The 554 hospital beds in Yokohama secured to treat infected patients are at nearly 58% capacity. While 15 patients were in care for severe symptoms in July, cases surged since late July, with 38 severe cases currently. The 100 patients with moderate symptoms in early July now number around 237, the most so far. An additional 32 beds have been added at local health care facilities at urging from the city.
Yokohama is smoothly coordinating hospitalizations, transfers, and transport via Y-CERT, its health care coordination team, and is managing both normal care and COVID-19 treatment. However, with hospitalizations for heatstroke also increasing, if infections continue to spread, we may face a situation where regular care has to be cut back to deal with COVID-19 cases. It is critical for us to do all we can to limit the further spread of infections at all costs.
About 730 thousand elderly residents received both shots by July 31, which Yokohama had focused its efforts to achieve. The results of the vaccinations are starting to emerge. Elderly residents made up 31% of cases in February, but as of July that number dropped dramatically to just 5%.
If you have the opportunity to be vaccinated at your workplace or university, you are encouraged to get it. 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.
It will still take some time to control the spread of infections with vaccinations, so in the meantime, the extent to which the spread can be suppressed depends on the actions each of us take. With summer vacations here, there will be many opportunities for outings to travel, dine in large groups, and see loved ones. We once again ask that everyone observe basic measures to prevent infection. Please refrain from actions that increase the risk of infection, such as eating in large groups or for a long time, or conversations in small or crowded spaces. The Olympics are underway without spectators present. Supporting the athletes from home is another important act that will help prevent the spread of infections.
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.