Okinawa to introduce COVID restrictions as case numbers hit record highs


NHK -- Jul 22
Okinawa Prefecture in southwestern Japan has decided to call on residents to follow restrictive measures amid a resurgence of coronavirus infections there.

The prefectural government decided on its new requests for residents at a meeting on Thursday. Okinawa saw a record-high 5,250 new cases of the coronavirus reported for the day. The tally on the previous day topped 5,000 for the first time in the prefecture.

People in Okinawa will now be asked to avoid non-essential outings. Groups eating at restaurants are to be limited to four people, staying for at most two hours.

Elderly and other people at high risk of developing severe symptoms will be advised to avoid meeting people other than family members with whom they live.

Organizers of events involving more than 1,000 people will be asked to present anti-infection plans to the prefectural government beforehand. Those planning events at which alcohol is to be served will be asked to consider postponing them.

Okinawa officials say the measures will start on Friday and are expected to continue through August 14.

Also on Thursday, the prefecture declared a healthcare emergency, as hospitals there are under increasing strain. To help ease the burden on medical caregivers, people are being asked to avoid using emergency outpatient services at hospitals for minor symptoms, or only for coronavirus tests.

Jul 22 () - 沖縄県内のコロナ病床の使用率は、21日時点で71.5%に達し、新たな患者の入院調整が困難な水準となっています。  ...continue reading

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