A message from Governor Tasso during the 48th meeting of The Iwate Prefecture COVID-19 Countermeasures HQ (February 1st 2022)

Iwate prefecture

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We have confirmed over 100 daily cases consecutively and in the last recent week, there have been 70.8 new confirmed cases per 100,000 people. This is three times the amount of cases during the peak of the fifth wave.

Up until the middle of January, the spread of infection was due to people coming to Iwate from outside the prefecture for events such as new years and the coming of age ceremony. However, we now see an increase in cases within families and regions originating from educational institution, child-care facility and school clusters, as well as a general increase in cases where the origin is unknown. There is concern that the number of cases will increase further.

In the event that the number of cases does increase further, not only the medical care provision system, 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.

Due to this, we have revised the Iwate State of Emergency. For example, in regards to schools:

  • If a school is to proceed with school events, as a general rule, the event should only be held within school grounds
  • Club activities must be weekdays only and for no more than 2 hours. Any club practice activities with other schools is forbidden.
    These are the major changes in the rules we are enforcing to strengthen our infection control measures.

The medical care provision system is now in Phase 3 due to the increased usage of hospital beds and hotel quarantine facilities arising from the rapid increase in cases. We are also further increasing the number of beds and hotel quarantine facilities to accommodate.

For those who are asymptomatic or show mild symptoms and are assessed as not needing hospitalisation, we are gradually allowing people to recuperate at home. With this, we will be able to focus on providing the necessary medical care to the elderly and those with underlying medical conditions and minimise the impact on general medical services such as emergency medical care.

Regarding recuperating at home, we are monitoring the health of patients and providing medical services throughout the region with the assistance of the medical and nursing associations. We will also establish the “Iwate Health Observation Support Center” in the prefectural office in order to check up on patients.

If there is a need to support catering, the prefectural government will distribute food to those in need.
We will make it so that anyone is able to recuperate appropriately at home.

In the event that our medical system is strained from a further increase in cases, we will request a quasi-state of emergency be enforced by the central government and we will be forced to look into strong measures that restrict the activities of the citizens of Iwate. I ask for everyone to follow the rules in the Iwate State of Emergency and more than ever, to practice infection control measures to prevent the spread of infection.

February 1st, 2022
Iwate Governor, Tasso Takuya