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22 COVID cases among attendees at music event in Japan criticized for lax measures

The Aichi Prefectural Government headquarters (Mainichi/Hiroki Sameshima)

NAGOYA -- Aichi Prefecture announced on Sept. 8 that 22 people at an outdoor hip hop event held in the prefectural city of Tokoname on Aug. 29 had tested positive for the coronavirus.

    Among the 22 infected attendees at the Namimonogatari2021 festival, 18 live in the prefecture, but the other four people took mail-in PCR tests for COVID-19 provided free to festivalgoers by the Aichi prefectural and Nagoya municipal governments. The personal details of the four, including their addresses, are unknown.

    According to the event organizer, more than 8,000 people attended the event, where social distancing was barely observed and festivalgoers were constantly in a crowded space. Alcoholic beverages were also sold at the venue. Local government heads in Aichi Prefecture had criticized the event for not strictly following the live music industry's infection prevention guidelines.

    Aichi Prefecture also announced that three artists who had performed at the festival made donations to the prefecture's foundation to support workers at medical institutions treating COVID-19 patients. The prefectural government did not state the donation amounts. Singer Minami of the band "Cream" said in a Twitter post, "It's not an issue that can be solved with money. But it's to express our thoughts for the medical workers and other people we troubled."

    (Japanese original by Hitomi Takai, Nagoya News Center)

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