A message from Governor Tasso during the 47th meeting of The Iwate Prefecture COVID-19 Countermeasures HQ (January 23rd 2022)

Iwate prefecture

【Japanese/日本語】 【Chinese/中文】  【Vietnamese/Tiếng Việt(PDF)】 【Spanish/español(PDF)】

The Omicron variant is spreading like wildfire in Japan, where there are more than 50,000 cases recorded in a day,
more than double of the number of cases at the peak of the fifth wave.

Currently, strong infection control measures are being taken across the country, with 16 prefectures announcing quasi-states of emergency,
and more prefectures looking to announce quasi-states of emergency.

In regards to Iwate, as a result of the reminder to follow infection control measures from the Declaration of Vigilance announced on the January 8th,
Iwate has the least number of cases within the country, while other prefectures have experienced rapid increases in cases. I thank you all for your cooperation.

However, today, the number of new cases per 100,000 people in Iwate has reached 15.2 in the last week, exceeding 15 people.

Currently, we are increasing the number of beds and quarantine rooms in order to accommodate those infected,
however there is a concern that if the number of cases increases, regular medical services may also be impeded.

Winter is especially the period where there is an increase in critical patients who have heart or brain diseases.
We must avoid straining our medical facilities with coronavirus cases.

In the event that there is a huge increase in the number of cases in Iwate, not only just the medical facilities,
but the bases of societal and economical activities such as welfare institutions,
schools and industries will experience a lack in workers and will be unable to function.

Today, in order to contain the spread of the virus,
we will be announcing Iwate’s own State of Emergency to further strengthen our infection control measures.

I ask the citizens to follow the below.

The information below has content that differs to the previous State of Emergency that was announced last August,
so I ask that you read carefully.

  • Please refrain from going to crowded areas or areas where the risk of infection is high

  • When travelling outside of the prefecture, please avoid unnecessary travel to areas that have announced States of Emergency or Quasi-States of Emergency.
    Even if the area you plan on travelling to has not announced either of the aforementioned,
    please take into consideration the necessity of the travel and make your decision carefully.
    Also take current situation and restrictions of your destination into consideration and take care when moving in the area.

  • Please properly follow the basic prevention measures such as proper usage of non-woven masks,
    frequent washing of hands, usage of hand sanitizer, and avoiding the 3 C’s.

  • It is recommended that you go to restaurants that are approved under the “Iwate Restaurant Safe Practices Certification System”
    as prevention measures are in place at these restaurants. Please wear masks when having conversations when you are not eating.

  • If you are concerned about being infected, for example, you have recently travelled to a high risk area,
    please use the free PCR tests and rapid antigen tests currently available.

  • If you have any symptoms, please refrain from going outside and travelling,
    and contact the relevant medical staff by phone to get a consultation.

Due to how easily the Omicron variant can be spread, there are many cases of people spreading the virus to family members that live with them.
More than half of the current cases in Iwate are due to this.

In order to reduce the number of cases amongst the elderly, who have a range of existing medical conditions, and infants,
it is important to strictly adhere to the rules of Iwate’s State of Emergency and prevent people spreading the virus to their loved ones.

I ask for your further cooperation in following the above infection control measures.