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Over 1,000 Osaka city workers ate out late, in groups after March COVID-19 emergency end

The Osaka City Government Office is seen in this file photo. (Mainichi/Yukiko Hayashi)

OSAKA -- More than 1,000 Osaka City Government employees went out during March and April in groups of five or more, or for meals going late into the night, Mayor Ichiro Matsui revealed April 23.

    The carousing came as the municipal government was appealing to residents to limit their own activities. Matsui apologized, saying, "I am truly sorry to the people of this city. We will deal strictly with all cases."

    The city opened an investigation after numerous coronavirus cases were reported among employees after they dined together. In all, some 20,000 employees excluding non-regular workers and others were asked whether they had been out in groups of five or more, or had restaurant meals that ended at 9 p.m. or later, between March 1 and April 4.

    Since the previous state of emergency declaration was lifted in March, the municipal government has been urging its residents to keep their mealtime groups small, among other measures to prevent infections spreading.

    (Japanese original by Tatsuki Noda, Osaka City News Department)

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