GIFU -- The Gifu Prefectural Government in central Japan is considering issuing its own state of emergency in response to the recent resurgence of novel coronavirus cases.
Experts on infectious diseases met at the prefectural government headquarters on the night of July 30 to consider measures to prevent infections from spreading further.
Gifu Gov. Hajime Furuta emphasized he would ask local residents to be even more cautious, saying at the beginning of the meeting, "We need a stronger message."
Gifu Prefecture recorded 25 new coronavirus cases on July 28, and 30 new cases the next day -- both local record highs. Seventeen new cases were found on July 30, and there is no sign the virus will stop spreading. "The second wave has come," Gov. Furuta said on July 29.
Gifu issued its first coronavirus state of emergency a week ahead of the Japanese government's initial declaration on April 10 amid the first wave of infections. It requested municipal governments to close facilities including kindergartens and day cares, and took countermeasures including extending prefectural school closures.
Though the state of emergency in the prefecture was lifted on May 14 as infection numbers declined to near zero, the Gifu government on May 9 set five benchmarks that would trigger a second state of emergency. As of July 29, the status of infections had exceeded three of the five redlines.
Cluster infections have occurred at Gifu Commercial & Business High School in the city of Gifu and Chubu Gakuin University & College in the city of Seki. The number of infections among young people has become especially prominent since July.
(Japanese original by Takuya Kurozume, Gifu Bureau)