Message from the Mayor HAYASHI Fumiko regarding the new coronavirus (2020.8.7)
As the number of cases of new coronavirus infections continues to increase across the country, we see a need for a continued state of vigilance, as new cases are also being identified daily in Yokohama. Recently, infections at the workplace or at home have increased, and the age range of those infected is expanding.
Currently, there are 225 infected patients with mild or no symptoms, who account for 93% of total cases in the city, and around 800 hospital beds have been secured in Kanagawa Prefecture. Additionally, while the number of patients experiencing severe and moderate symptoms remain at three and 13, respectively, about 500 hospital beds have been prepared in Yokohama alone. The medical care system maintains an ample capacity. We will continue to coordinate with the prefectural government going forward.
With the approach of the season for the Bon Festival, I know many people will have the opportunity to go out or travel. If you do go out, we ask everyone to take precautions against infection: washing your hands often, wearing a mask, and avoiding the “three C's.”
Also, talking when masks are removed at meals is one way the virus can spread to infect others. When dining in a group, please choose restaurants with preventive measures, and take care to refrain from dining in large groups or raising your voice.
The clouds of the rainy season have lifted, and hot weather has begun in earnest. Please take appropriate steps to avoid heat stroke, such as removing your mask when outdoors, while maintaining an appropriate distance from others as a preventive measure against infection. Senior citizens are asked to take extra care, as not only are they more likely to experience more severe symptoms of the new coronavirus if infected, they are also more vulnerable to heat stroke.
Response measures to COVID-19 are expected to continue for some time.
In addition to enhancing our PCR testing capacity, the City of Yokohama is providing subsidies for shop and restaurant owners to invest in preventive measures. The subsidy program has been well received, and since starting the program, nearly 6,000 applications were submitted in only three days.
We will continue to make every possible effort and work with the national and prefectural governments, as well as medical institutions, to protect the livelihoods of our residents by implementing preventive measures and moving to revitalize socio-economic activity.
Message from the Mayor HAYASHI Fumiko on the alert issued by Kanagawa Prefecture (2020.7.17)
Today, the Kanagawa Prefectural Government issued an official alert as a warning measure to encourage Kanagawa residents to rigorously implement and follow measures to prevent the spread of infection, including avoiding the “three C's” and reducing opportunities for person-to-person contact.
At the New Coronavirus Disease Control Headquarters meeting yesterday, the City of Yokohama established a response policy according to the alert issued by Kanagawa and the status(or “phase”) of new coronavirus(COVID-19) infections. Based on this policy, the city will continue to ensure comprehensive preventive measures are in place at public facilities and city-sponsored events.
The number of newly confirmed cases reported today in Yokohama was 14, and the daily case count has slight rising trend in the past few weeks. The most effective methods to prevent the further spread of infection are the thorough preventive steps taken by each individual resident. We ask that residents continue to follow safeguards and practice everyday preventive actions, such as refraining from visiting places that do not have measures in place to prevent infection, avoiding the “three C's,” and incorporating the “new lifestyle” guidelines into their daily lives. We also ask that businesses adopt appropriate preventive measures.
The new coronavirus disease outbreak is expected to be prolonged, and for infections to reappear in waves. There are currently only around 13 patients showing moderate or worse symptoms in Yokohama, and local hospitals are well-equipped with beds at the ready to accommodate a resurge in patients. We will continue to work closely with medical institutions, as well as with the national and prefectural governments, to prevent any possibility of a collapse in the medical care system, to ensure measures are in place to prevent the spread of infection, and restore socio-economic activity as soon as possible.
Message from the Mayor HAYASHI Fumiko about State of Emergency end, new policy roadmap(2020.05.25)
The “Declaration of a State of Emergency in response to the Novel Coronavirus Disease” was lifted for the remaining five prefectures today, including Kanagawa, ahead of the May 31 target.
I would like to express my sincere gratitude for the cooperation from our residents and businesses, as well as for the dedicated efforts of our medical professionals, over the seven weeks since the state of emergency was declared on April 7.
We have faced an unprecedented situation with the state of emergency declaration. Going forward, I hope to work with residents and businesses to create a “new normal” and a new daily life.
In response to the state of emergency being lifted, the City of Yokohama's basic policy direction will be to “prevent the spread of infection and drive socio-economic activity to create a new normal for residents.” The city will work under the two pillars of “resuming city projects and services as soon as infection control measures are in place,” and “providing active support for the recovery of economic activity based on national and prefectural policies.”
Starting in June, public facilities that were closed, civic services that were suspended, and city-sponsored events that were postponed or cancelled will soon reopen and resume once infection prevention measures are fully in place, based on national and prefectural policies, alerts, and specific guidelines.
Municipal schools will also reopen in stages, observing “staggered attendance,” “reduced school hours,” and other measures. This year will also have a shorter summer vacation, so school management will differ from a typical year. Teachers, parents, and the City of Yokohama will think of students first, and provide all the support we can.
We will promote activities in cooperation with the public to help prevent infection at shops and businesses. For example, we will work with shōtengai shopping districts and restaurant associations to raise awareness and support preventive measures at food and beverage establishments.
In addition, we hope to examine detailed plans for entertainment facilities like movie theaters and live music venues through dialogue with businesses.
Kanagawa Prefecture intends to rescind the request for business of all types to suspend their operations, on the condition that appropriate preventive measures are implemented based on industry-specific guidelines. Yokohama will coordinate closely with the prefecture to support businesses and take further measures as appropriate.
This month, the City of Yokohama compiled the largest-ever supplementary budget of 574.3 billion yen and an economic stimulus worth 769.4 billion to fund measures supporting daily life and the economy. The city is currently working under the three main pillars of protecting “lives and healthcare,” the “well-being of 3.75 million residents,” and the “vitality of Yokohama.”
Furthermore, in anticipation of the June City Council meeting, we will examine preventive measures in preparation for a second wave of the new coronavirus infections, as well as further measures to support daily life and the economy based on the national government's second supplementary budget. To secure the needed funds for this purpose, we will make use of the public funds allocated in the second budget as well as review projects that were slated for the 2020 fiscal year.
Specifically, the budgets assigned to projects related to the Olympic and Paralympic Games that have already been cancelled or that will not proceed on schedule will be withheld. We will also consider delaying or cancelling projects that have little impact on residents'lives or that do not address immediate problems.
I ask that Task Force members give thought to the actual situation faced by our residents and businesses: their needs and what problems they currently face. We will reevaluate city projects to secure funds and swiftly implement support measures while ensuring they reach the people and businesses that need them.
With the state of emergency lifted, the law does not require the city to maintain a task force headquarters. However, the virus has not been eradicated, and there is a possibility of a second wave. We will therefore keep the task force headquarters in place for now. The City of Yokohama will continue to be united in its resolve to protect the lives and livelihood of all our citizens. Thank you to all our task force headquarters personnel.
The number of new patients testing positive today was zero. While we should avoid becoming preoccupied with every single number, I believe today's result was achieved thanks to the cooperation of our residents.
For its part, the City of Yokohama will maintain sufficient health care systems to prepare for a second wave. The economy is currently in a critical condition. It will come to a halt if restrictions are not lifted soon. If the economic wheels stop turning, it will be unable to maintain the daily lives of our residents. The city must respond to the prefecture's policy of rescinding closure requests for businesses, regardless of industry. By placing socio-economic activity on track to recover, Yokohama will develop a new normal as soon as possible.
We continue to ask for cooperation from all residents. Please continue to take steps to protect yourselves, and the city will maintain its support for measures to prevent the spread of infections. Help us overcome this difficulty together.
Message from the Mayor HAYASHI Fumiko on the partial lifting of the state of emergency (2020.5.21)
Today, the national government announced its decision to lift the “State of Emergency in response to the Novel Coronavirus Disease” for an additional three prefectures, following the previous move for 39 prefectures on May 14. However, lifting the state of emergency was postponed for the Tokyo metropolitan area, including Kanagawa Prefecture.
The number of new patients testing positive for the new coronavirus in Yokohama last week was 38, a significant drop compared to the peak recorded number. Notably, only 10 cases with unknown routes of infection were identified, or 0.27 per 100,000 in the population, showing that infection in the city has slowed. In addition, while there are currently 43 hospitalized patients with moderate to severe symptoms, Yokohama has 500 beds secured for such patients. Along with ample room for more patients, the city's medical care systems are being maintained without interruption.
The government will again consider lifting the state of emergency declaration on May 25. Once it is lifted, the city will reopen municipal schools and public facilities in stages, after ensuring infection prevention measures are fully in place.
The City of Yokohama will continue to dedicate its full energies to realize the return to a new daily life and the recovery of economic activity for its citizens as soon as possible.
Message from the Mayor HAYASHI Fumiko on the partial lifting of the state of emergency (2020.5.14)
The national government announced its decision today to lift the “State of Emergency in response to the Novel Coronavirus Disease” for 39 prefectures, including some prefectures that were identified for “special caution.” Those prefectures will resume full socio-economic activity while continuing to enforce infection prevention measures. Although the momentum of the spread of infection has slowed in Kanagawa Prefecture, it will remain under the state of emergency as we continue to see a steady number of new cases.
The City of Yokohama will cooperate with prefectural and local governments and do everything in our power to ensure the lifting of the state of emergency as soon as safely possible.
Over 100 patients tested positive for the virus in Yokohama on the week of April 6, but by the following week the number of new cases decreased to around 75, and as of the week of May 4 had dropped to 45 cases. In particular, the number of cases with unknown routes of infection has seen a distinct decrease, thanks to the combined efforts of our residents steadily taking shape.
The government will reevaluate lifting the state of emergency on May 21, and the City of Yokohama will focus on preparing to reopen municipal schools and public facilities in anticipation of the decision, as well as work to ensure the prevention of further outbreaks of infection.
The city will work steadfastly to provide support to our residents and businesses to help them overcome this challenging situation as swiftly as possible. We continue to ask for your understanding and cooperation.
Message from the Mayor HAYASHI Fumiko regarding the extension of the State of Emergency(2020.5.4)
The national government decided today to extend the “Declaration of a State of Emergency in response to the Novel Coronavirus Disease” until May 31(Sunday) for the entire country. I believe this is an unavoidable measure, as the spread of infection across the country has not yet abated, and the medical care system continues to face a difficult situation.
In accordance with the extension of the state of emergency, the City of Yokohama will extend the temporary closure of municipal schools, postpone or cancel city-organized events, and close public facilities.
The city took part in several discussions with the Superintendent of the Board of Education about the simultaneous temporary municipal school closures as well as how to handle the transition and beyond, but in response to the government's extension, the City of Yokohama Board of Education has decided to extend the temporary closure until May 31(Sunday).
Children and their guardians will have to continue to stay home as students are unable to attend school. It pains me to think of the children looking forward to their first days of school life, or the students facing a great deal of anxiety before their exams, but we ask for your understanding during the current situation.
The City of Yokohama will make every effort to enhance students'learning ability and properly ensure a healthy lifestyle to improve the current circumstances. The Board of Education will provide more learning opportunities by drawing on its achievements so far to further enhance its online educational video distribution. Maximum measures will be taken to enrich care for students who cannot stay at home, and to reopen schoolyards, to promote opportunities to encourage healthy living and development. Yokohama will work with the Board of Education to support children not just at school, but throughout the city.
The City of Yokohama has compiled the largest ever supplementary budget proposal of 574.3 billion yen to mitigate the impact of the new coronavirus disease on daily life and the economy. Based on the situation going forward, the city will continue to enhance measures and do our utmost to protect our residents, businesses, and health care personnel.
To the residents of Yokohama: the actions of each and every one of us will protect lives, our loved ones, and the city as a whole. Help us overcome this difficulty together. We ask for your continued understanding and cooperation.
Message from the Mayor at the New Coronavirus Disease Control Headquarters Meeting (2020.4.15)
As of yesterday, the number of coronavirus cases in Yokohama reached a total of 181, with a record 36 new cases reported on April 11. The week of April 6-12 saw 106 new cases, a number 2.6 times greater than the previous week, and demonstrated the extremely high rate of infection.
To reassure our residents, the city expanded the number of lines from six to ten at the “Novel Coronavirus Patient or High-Risk Person Call Center” yesterday. The city will also add 10 extra lines to the “Yokohama Novel Coronavirus Call Center” for 20 total starting on April 17.
Inquiries to the two call centers saw a particularly sharp increase since the state of emergency was declared, and it has been difficult for all callers to get through. We regret any inconvenience caused. Now that the lines have been expanded, please feel free to call for a consultation if you are an individual or business with concerns.
In order to prevent the collapse of the medical system at any cost, the city has directed the Infectious Disease & Medical Coordination Headquarters Y-CERT to full-fledged operation.
In Yokohama, 181 total cases were confirmed as of April 14. Of these, four patients were shown to be seriously ill, while one showed moderate to severe symptoms, 11 had moderate symptoms, and seven had mild to moderate symptoms. With the cooperation of the Yokohama Municipal Citizen's Hospital, Yokohama City Minato Red Cross Hospital, Yokohama City University Hospital, and Yokohama City University Medical Center, the city has secured 500 beds to accommodate patients with moderate or severe cases of the disease.
In addition, the APA Hotel & Resort Yokohama Bay Tower, along with the current Municipal Citizen's Hospital building, will provide rooms for patients with mild illnesses and asymptomatic patients. The City of Yokohama will continue to work to secure additional facilities to realize the “Kanagawa Model” and prevent any collapse of the medical care system.
Based on the declaration of a state of emergency, many businesses are asked to temporarily close. Especially now, it is critical that the City of Yokohama provide support to its local businesses.
A speedy recovery once the coronavirus has abated also relies on halting the spread of infections and preventing the further loss of life.
I therefore call on all residents once again:
First, do not leave home in general unless it is important or urgent. When you must go out, be careful to avoid any situations involving “closed spaces,” “crowded places,” or “close-contact settings.” Please also make sure to wash your hands frequently and thoroughly, and to cover your mouth and nose when sneezing or coughing.
The city's water, sewage works, garbage collection, subways and buses, and other lifelines will continue to provide reliable service.
There are also no limitations about going out to buy essential items. Please exercise calm judgment, and we ask that you buy only what you need.
Access the City of Yokohama homepage to find a video message from my office as well as other related information.
Regarding the state of emergency : Request to all Yokohama residents
Thank you to all residents for your cooperation and understanding regarding the city's efforts to prevent outbreaks of the new coronavirus(COVID-19).
As you may be aware, the Government of Japan has declared a State of Emergency until May 6.
The City of Yokohama asks all residents to observe the following guidelines:
- Generally, do not leave your home except for essential needs.
- Stores providing essential everyday goods will not be asked to close. Rest assured that everyone will be able to buy essentials, and please only buy what you need and not hoard items.
- Depending on the goods and services provided, some educational institutions, shopping centers, and other places may be asked to close or reduce operating hours. However, hospitals and other medical facilities, as well as public transportation and other essential services, will remain open.
- Please make efforts to avoid events where multiple people may come within a close distance.
In addition to the above, please continue to be careful to:
- Frequently wash your hands and cover your mouth and nose when sneezing or coughing;
- Avoid situations that combine “closed spaces,” “crowded places,” and “close-contact settings.”
The City of Yokohama will work closely with Kanagawa Prefecture and do everything possible to provide support for all residents.
Joint appeal message from nine prefectures and designated cities
Five ways to protect yourself and your loved ones
To reduce the chance of contact between people by 80%
- Do not leave your home.
<In the event you must leave your home>
- Avoid the three “C's” of “closed spaces,” “crowded places,” and “close-contact settings.”
- Keep a distance of at least 2 meters from others
- Wash your hands and cover your mouth and nose when sneezing or coughing
- Buy only the food and medical supplies you need
We strongly urge everyone in these nine regions to follow the above measures to help us overcome this crisis.