Okinawa announces 3 of their COVID-19 warning indicators have reached the level of “Widespread Infection,” points to large group parties as primary risk factor

October 27, 2020 Ryukyu Shimpo

Okinawa Prefecture continues to see new cases of COVID-19 on the rise, recording the largest number of new cases per 100,000 people since October 3, the worst for all prefectures in Japan. If the spread of the virus continues at its current pace, there is a fear that Okinawa will reach its fourth and highest warning level “Widespread Infection,” leading Okinawa Governor Denny Tamaki to put out a new “Okinawa Coronavirus Warning” unique to the prefecture. The prefectural government is urging residents to raise their awareness and change their behaviour, noting that the risk of infection has increased, “Due in large part to gatherings for food and alcohol (particularly large group).”

Of the seven indicators used to determine the warning level, as of October 26 three of the indicators: “Hospital bed occupancy rate” (74.2%), “Cases requiring medical treatment” (356 people), and “New cases from the past week” (242 people) have all reached level four.

Previously the prefecture has issued advisories targeting specific areas identified as hot zones four times previously, but this has not led to a decrease in the number of cases.

Since there continue to be new clusters of the disease arising, the prefecture decided to issue a “warning” for individuals and business to thoroughly enact COVID-19 prevention measures.

In the warning, the prefectural government is asking to limit groups going out to no more than five people, to finish within two hours, and to refrain from heavy drinking or bar hopping. Governor Tamaki stressed, “To commit to treating this as necessary as opposed to merely keeping it in mind.”
(English translaiton by T&CT and Sam Grieb)

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