Source: Government of Japan – Prime Minister
On November 27, 2020, the Prime Minister held the 48th meeting of the Novel Coronavirus Response Headquarters at the Prime Minister’s Office.
At the meeting, the participants discussed the response to the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19).
Following the discussion, the Prime Minister said:
“The day before yesterday, the Subcommittee on Novel Coronavirus Disease Control proposed that we must expeditiously and intensively implement strong measures in the areas where infections are spreading, with a strong sense of urgency that medical institutions are being stretched, over the coming three weeks.
In particular, as the Subcommittee has already pointed out the risk of infection through dining, we believe it is extremely important for restaurants to respond to such a risk and shorten business hours, responding to such a risk. From today, following the city of Sapporo, the Tokyo Metropolitan Government and the cities of Osaka and Nagoya are starting to introduce such requests once they are ready. The Government will provide thorough support to all the restaurants that cooperate with such requests.
Regarding the Go To Eat campaign, in response to the Government’s request, 10 prefectures have suspended the sale of new meal vouchers, and 9 prefectures have excluded dining with a group of no less than five from its eligibility. On the Go To Travel campaign, based on the recommendations from the Subcommittee, we will immediately request users refrain from applying for the campaign for their travel departing from Sapporo and Osaka, where we have already decided to suspend applying for travel arriving to. We will make sure that the users or hotels/ryokans will not incur cancellation fees in these cases.
Furthermore, in response to the situation where the medical treatment structures are being stretched in some areas, we will make each prefecture immediately secure hospital beds, based on its plan, and ensure that local authorities allocate hospital beds to those patients in most need. We have already secured 1,200 professionals, the number doubled from the previous count, to be sent to public health centers. By dispatching those experts to each center in need, we intend to thoroughly support the public health centers, a linchpin of our response. In addition, in order to prevent patients from developing severe symptoms as much as possible, we will more expeditiously implement intensive testing of patients, residents, and employees at elderly care facilities and other institutions in the areas where infections are spreading, with the government bearing the costs, and thoroughly follow the situation.
I ask each minister to make all-out efforts in undertaking these countermeasures, while collaborating closely with local governments, to overcome this spread of infections by any means necessary and protect the lives and livelihoods of the public.”