Local News in Japan Search the whole site Governor of Tokyo, December 24

Faced with the threat of the omicron variant, the Governor of Tokyo presented the necessary measures during the end and beginning of the year holidays.

Tokyo will organize consultation centers

In addition, launches from December 25, 2021, a system of free access to screening tests.

This article also touches on issues of immigration, vaccination and COVID treatment. For time reasons, Local News in Japan has omitted some of the press questions and topics from this conference.

Statement by Governor Koike

On the handling of the new coronavirus

First case of community infection in Tokyo

I'll start with the new one coronavirus. The Tokyo Metropolitan Institute of Public Health (東京都健康安全研究センター) analyzed the genomes of patients suspected of being infected with the omicron variant, and today confirmed that four of them are indeed infected.

Among them is one person who has no foreign travel history and the routes of infection are unknown. This case can therefore be assimilated to a community infection.

This is a doctor who works in a clinic in the capital. Since we know that he is positive for the new coronavirus, he has been hospitalized in a hospital in the metropolis. The capital is conducting active epidemiological investigations using PCR variant screening tests as soon as it identifies cases of infection suggesting cases of the omicron variant.

She identified 5 contact cases in the workplace and in the family of this doctor and tested them. These 5 contact cases are asymptomatic. Their PCR test results are negative at this time.

This doctor was wearing a mask, face shield, etc. and applied appropriate infection control measures. If we take into account the time of contact with the people he examined, none of his patients are contact cases.

However, given the characteristics of Omicron strains, we believe that active epidemiological studies should be conducted on a large scale, and we are doing so.

About omicron variant cases detected by quarantine

I was talking earlier about 4 people testing positive for the omicron variant today. Only one of them is considered a case of community infection. The other three people have foreign travel history. At the time of entry into Japan, one of these people had tested negative during quarantine at the airport, but was found to be positive during the PCR test.

Since then, she has been hospitalized in the capital. Then, the Tokyo Metropolitan Institute of Public Health conducted variant screening PCR tests and analyzed the genome. Today, we know that it is the omicron variant.

The current strategy is to consider contact cases for all passengers who were on the same plane. We have confirmed that there are no other contact cases apart from these passengers.

The contact cases have been placed in accommodation facilities for observation and are subject, among other things, to regular PCR screening tests. We rigorously follow their state of health.

Then, among the passengers on planes of people infected with the omicron variant, there is a contact case who tests positive for the new coronavirus. After entering Japan, he was placed in a regular accommodation facility for his quarantine. However, as the PCR test gave a positive result, he has been hospitalized in the capital since he was suspected of having caught the Omicron variant.

Then there is one more case. This person was also on the same plane as a confirmed case infected with the omicron variant. He was therefore a contact case and is currently awaiting hospitalization. For the same plane, we have identified a family member who was not a contact case of this plane must also be considered a contact case.

In case of symptoms

Japan having identified cases of community infection. We must therefore recognize the importance of strengthening the system of screening tests and early medical consultations, which will lead to observation.

If you have a cough, fever, and other symptoms, go to a medical facility right away for testing and treatment.

If you are not feeling as usual, do not hesitate to consult a doctor.

Then, in order for the capital to continue to carry out screening tests and open its medical consultations during the end and beginning of the year holidays, the Tokyo Metropolitan Government asked, as last year, for medical institutions.

At present, about 1200 medical institutions will distribute medical consultations during the end of the year and the New Year. The list of hospitals that can respond in the event of a fever during the end and beginning of the year will be published on the prefecture page. Therefore, if during New Year's Day or New Year's Eve you are not feeling well, just do a search on the Tokyo Metropolitan Government page. It will be on the site, and you can look it up by referring to it.

Free screening for asymptomatic people

In addition, we will also strengthen the system of screening tests for people who are without symptoms.

Since there is a beginning of community infection by the Omicron strain, in accordance with article 24, paragraph 9 of the law on special measures, the metropolitan government has decided to provide access to free screening tests for people who are at high risk of infection and are concerned that they have been infected.

Normally, these screening tests will be free until Monday, January 31, 2022.

The test is reserved for Tokyo residents who fear an infection or want to release their anxiety quickly.

These will be available from tomorrow Saturday December 25, 2021, and next week, 180 laboratories will be able to analyze around 30,000 tests per day.

For example, they will give out test kits that look like this one so we can do this test.

As I just said, the capital has made these test kits available at chain pharmacies/drugstores etc. It will be possible to request them in these places. Their list will also be published on the Tokyo Metropolitan Government page. All you have to do is find the nearest pharmacy to you.

Editor’s note: the list can be found here: PCRkensabasyo.pdf (tokyo.lg.jp) (PDF) (Mostly Kinoshita Group, J-VPD and MSJ testing centers)

You can also get more information here 0分土日祝日含む) 【Email】 reception@tokyo-metro -pcr.jp

What to do if the free screening test gives a positive result

Now, some people who have taken this screening test may have a positive result. These people being positive, and as it is an infectious disease, they will have to avoid all close contact with people, and must consult in a medical establishment to take tests and receive medical treatment. If you are positive, it is absolutely necessary to consult a doctor.

The list of medical institutions for testing and receiving medical treatment 診療検査医療機関 will be, as I just mentioned, published on the Tokyo Metropolitan Government page.

Japan Local Info Search Worldwide site Governor of Tokyo, December 24

When you have to go there to see a doctor, please wear a mask. Then, do not use public transport to get there.

Details on drug testing in Tokyo can be found here:

Strengthening the medical care system

The Tokyo Metropolitan Government has held follow-up meetings and crisis management meetings (countermeasures), and repeatedly told the people that community infections of the Omicron strain can occur at any time. He also explained that there is a need to strengthen the system of providing advance medical care.

Today we have a positive case of community infection, and we have already organized measures to deal with this problem. We will make sure to launch them early.

Then we have some new information. As I mentioned before, next week, Tuesday 28th, we will open an oxygen and medical supply station in the former Akabane Central General Hospital 旧赤羽中央総合病院, which is in the district of Kita-ku. One of the characteristics of this establishment is that it accepts patients on dialysis. I will visit it tomorrow. Along with these efforts, we often reiterate that the help of Tokyo residents and businesses is essential if we are to prevent the spread of the Omicron strain.

During the holidays, apply preventive measures

Yesterday evening, the capital and the three surrounding prefectures held a videoconference. This is why we are now preparing a common message to the 4 prefectures of Greater Tokyo for the end of year celebrations. In content, it is precisely because the end and the beginning of the year are occasions for many gatherings with people we love that we must be particularly rigorous in the application of infection prevention measures. .

The 4 prefectures of Greater Tokyo are uniting to encourage everyone to act with compassion and avoid contaminating others. I really want the people of the city and the prefecture to participate. Likewise, the 4 prefectures of Greater Tokyo have agreed to work together in the future to prevent a resumption of the spread of the virus.

Secondly, since I just reported that there are community infections today, we need to approach the New Year and New Year holidays with heightened vigilance against the omicron variant.

Consultation centers during the holiday season

Many people are suffering from the consequences of the new coronavirus and this year has been difficult for many. We have therefore established a consultation service for people who are worried about these problems and need help during the holidays this end and beginning of the year.

Specifically, we will open a consultation center regarding the omicron variant. The number of the “Novel Coronavirus and Omicron Variant Consultation Center” is as follows.

For people who have symptoms such as fever, or those who are worried that they may have caught the Omicron variant, there is also the

This one has been around for a long time.

Then, each center will be open during these hours during the end-of-year and New Year's holidays for those who want to learn more about neutralizing antibodies, and for those who wish to be admitted to a facility of accommodation during treatment.

For people who suffer from sequelae

In addition, after catching this virus, some people continue to suffer from sequelae. These can last for a very varied time. For these people, there are consultation centers concerning the sequelae. Do not hesitate to contact them at these numbers.

It can also be found on the prefecture page.

Support system for women in difficulty

Next, so that women who are experiencing various difficulties or problems do not feel isolated, we will do like last year for this end and this beginning of year.

During this time, some people may feel like they can't ask anyone their questions, and some may have very bad experiences. It's a time of year and a season particularly conducive to these kinds of feelings. The consultation system will therefore be maintained during this period, and it is possible to find the call numbers and timetables on this page as well. By typing the words in the search bar, you should be able to find what you need.

Feel free to use it.

For people in urgent need of temporary accommodation

Then, for people who have lost their job due to the new coronavirus or who have lost their accommodation, during the holiday season and beginning of the year, the prefecture provides temporary accommodation establishments in business hotels. For information, refer to the Tokyo Challenge Net.

I invite those concerned to consult them.

Furthermore, as you may have seen in the media, the omicron variant is spreading rapidly in every country in the world. Each western country reports a number of positive people in the tens of thousands per day. In addition, at this time, experts are analyzing the data and comparing it to other existing variants, including the Delta variant.

However, even though it is said to be widely transmitted, we do not know enough about its contagiousness, the risk of worsening symptoms and the effectiveness of treatments. In this context, it is essential to do well what we can already do. We ask that you continue to act calmly and appropriately.

I end the information about COVID-19 here. This part aimed to give consultation centers and information on test kits, etc. during the end and the beginning of the year.

About the prevention of disasters during the end and the beginning of the year

Now I would like to talk about the prevention of disasters during the end and the beginning of the year.

The other day, the Philippines was hit by a typhoon, which is rare in this season. I don't know if it's normal, but if we look at this year, we can say that it has been marked by many disasters.

Lately, claims have been piling up. They are coming on top of COVID-19, and when we barely had enough wind, in July, we had torrential rains in Kanagawa and Shizuoka prefectures. The city of Atami has experienced an example of a major disaster due to a mudslide. This is also fresh in our minds. In October, a 5+ earthquake was recorded in Tokyo for the first time in 10 years since the Great Tohoku Earthquake and Tsunami of 2011. Again this month, a number of earthquakes occurred off the islands of Izu Oshima, as well as the Tokara Islands in Kagoshima.

As I just explained, even making just a short list of disasters that have happened in Tokyo and its suburbs in chronological order, that's a lot of major events.

In short, there is something to be well aware of the urgency of preparing every day for potential disasters.

Practice dialing the dedicated number in the event of a disaster

We are entering a period of many opportunities to gather as a family to welcome the end and the beginning of the new year. I think this is a good opportunity for families to discuss how to confirm the safety of their children in the event of a disaster or disaster, for example, using the dedicated disaster phone number.

Since people will be reuniting with family, we thought we would give them the opportunity to try these services during the first three days of the year. We can therefore test this dedicated telephone number in the event of a disaster 災害用の伝言ダイヤル the first three days of the year.

Review equipment in preparation for natural disaster

In addition to this, we would like to remind everyone to check the equipment of the place of residence. In particular, check again that the furniture is well fixed to avoid falling. Disasters are many, including earthquakes, and you never know when or where they may occur. It is therefore important to be able to contact your family even if everyone is scattered.

That's why I would like to ask you to use this as a tool to train yourself a little, to be always ready, so that we too can spend 2022 in safety.

(Document presented during the conference) (PDF: 72KB)

Questions from the press

Do you plan to impose restrictions?

Q: In response to community infections, Osaka has decided not to ease restrictions on the number people in restaurants, and the Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry also mentioned tighter restrictions on activities. I would like to know if you think it necessary to change the restrictions currently in place in Tokyo. What restrictions should be implemented in the future?

Tokyo also continues to request the continuation of the various activity restrictions during this month of December. For example, when it comes to eating and drinking, we ask to use a certified establishment and limit group sizes to 8 people. This time there are community infections, but we continue to ask everyone to rigorously apply the basics.

It's about doing things rigorously, like avoiding places where lots of people congregate. For those who are worried about their health, we will provide free testing in accordance with the Special Measures Act. So, for people who have symptoms such as cough or fever, or who have a positive free test result, we have already informed you of the medical institutions that I was talking about earlier so that they provide treatments and tests during the end-of-year and New Year's holidays.

How to manage contacts in case of omicron variant?

Thank you. Another question. Prime Minister Kishida announced the other day that contact cases of people infected with the omicron variant should go to residential facilities for observation. Nevertheless, the virus is spreading and there could be a shortage in these establishments if the situation continues. In addition, the contact cases currently in these hotels seem to be complaining on this subject. How do you think he manages contact cases in the case of the omicron variant?

First, we only have one community infection today. The other three are people returning from overseas, or entering Japan for the first time.

In this regard, the Tokyo Metropolitan Government has argued that it would be better for returnees to Japan to go directly to accommodation facilities for observation/treatment. This is also why the State provides 3,000 rooms in these establishments.

On the other hand, for legal questions concerning the law on quarantine and the law on the control of infectious diseases, we fall back into the usual pattern that this can only be done by request.

I guess there are people who can't fit in there or others who have their own circumstances. In this case, if there is something to be done rigorously, it is one thing. It is very unfortunate that there have been loopholes in the border measures.

The prefectures have asked the government to define criteria

On the other hand, regarding what should be done in the future, yesterday, the 4 prefectures of Greater Tokyo addressed several requests to the State, including this point. We asked him to define the accommodation establishments for observation and what are the contact cases of aircraft passengers.

As we enter a new phase of community infections, I hope the government will decide on a realistic format that will protect the lives and health of the people of Tokyo, the prefecture and the country as much as possible. entire. The metropolitan government is fully preparing to provide health care.

Tokyo is preparing in different ways

Then, as I have already announced, if the number of positive patients exceeds 100 per day on average for a week, we will start to move from a system level 1 to 3 medical care provision. This will activate hospitals, accommodation facilities for observation and treatment, and medical care and oxygen supply facilities medical), which are currently in reserve.

In addition, as I just said, we have equipped a facility in Akabane capable of accepting patients who need dialysis. Tomorrow, I will visit the site itself and I will ensure that the metropolitan government does everything in its power to solve these problems. Next, I think it's important that people in Tokyo follow basic measures for infection prevention, including ventilation that I often talk about.

About the drug approved on December 24 to prevent worsening of symptoms

Thank you. I'm sorry to keep talking about Corona. The drug manufactured by Merck was approved today and deliveries for 200,000 doses will start from the weekend. I heard that the details of who will be prioritized for their administration needs to be clarified. I wonder if you could give us your opinion and points of reflection on the type of rules to implement.

It also depends on state policy. However, but in the same way as the allocation of the third doses of vaccine, it would have to be done taking into account the number of people infected and the places that may have many.

From a very strategic and tactical point of view, it seems to me essential to ask for a proportional allocation of stocks to reduce the number of infections and the resulting spread of infections.

In terms of the oral medications, first of all, regarding Merck's product, I really wish the names of these medications were a little easier to pronounce.

モルヌピラビル(Molnupiravir) has just been evaluated and is expected to be approved by the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare today. This drug prevents the worsening of symptoms and limits the risk of death by approximately 30%.

The one from Pfizer should be even more effective, according to the various information I have. In any case, the one we can currently secure is Molnupiravir. This is a new treatment that should prevent the worsening of symptoms and which we hope for a lot.

The Tokyo government is preparing to distribute it

The Tokyo Metropolitan Government has already compiled a list of 1,300 pharmacies in Tokyo that can supply this medicine, and we are preparing to distribute the medicine to pharmacies wishing to use it as soon as it is approved.

These oral drugs are new and game-changing, so we need to make sure we secure enough of them. It's not about making a contract and stopping there. We have to receive it first and then we can begin. The state is going to have to work closely with local governments, including ours, and also with those in charge of the medical care delivery system.

Thank you.

On the 3500 person border quota

Q: Currently, the state has declared a quota of 3500 people to enter Japan each day. When you look at statistics from the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare, as of Monday, December 20, more than 6,000 people had entered Japan. As today we find the first case of community infection in Tokyo, what do you think of this reality?

Yes, we heard the quotas were 5,000 at one point, now they are 3,500. I think the most basic measure to tighten the tap is to set border measures, but if you look at the actual situation of people entering the country, there are days when the number of people exceeds 6,000, and on Monday, December 20, the number of people exceeded 6,000.

Then there were 4,000, then 3,000. I think it was probably a spike, but I don't know enough about it. Not sure if that includes people who had reservations or not. It seems to me that the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism is trying to limit the number of passengers on commercial airlines.

Border restrictions cause problems

Now, if a person tests positive, all passengers on the same flight are their contact cases. As I said earlier, observation in residential establishments generates problems in each region.

However, I think we need to do everything possible to make this happen properly, since, as we have seen, there are cases of people who test positive while boarding the same plane. I also heard that some people who came back to Japan to spend the New Year were forced to stay in hotels, and I feel sorry for them.

At the same time…

At the same time, one has to wonder how we can do to keep the level of infection under control here. At the same time, as I explained earlier, for oral medications as well as for vaccination boosters, it is a question of saving time and it is true that we save time. It is precisely because we save time that it is important. During this period, I think we therefore want to make sure that we will receive the necessary quantities of drugs and vaccine. I think that's what everyone wants.

Should you avoid returning to your family?

Q: Dr. Omi, chairman of the expert committee, pointed out that the omicron variant may already be present in several places in the world. countries in the form of community infections. In this context, if people return to the country for the end and the beginning of the year, the omicron variant could spread throughout the country. Do you plan to call on people to avoid entering the family home?

Yes, I think the free test for people who are worried about their health is exactly the kind of thing that would be helpful for people returning home who are worried about passing the disease on to their grandmother, For example. Then, at the base, there is what we have already learned so far.

When moving, it is important to pay attention to the different points that deserve attention. When the family gets together, it is appropriate to separate the plates. These are details, but these are situations that can easily lead to contamination.

These rules apply regardless of the variant. Additionally, the Omicron variant is highly contagious. So, it is a question of referring to these principles during the end and beginning of the year celebrations with the family. Then we hope you will do everything you can to make New Year's Eve a safe one. THANKS.

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