Tokyo Metropolitan Governor Yuriko Koike held an emergency press conference on Wednesday at which she requested all residents refrain from going out over the weekend, unless for necessities or emergency situations, to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
The total number of infection cases in Tokyo reached 171 earlier this week, surpassing Hokkaido’s count. Another 41 positive cases were identified on Wednesday. The number of infected in Tokyo was more than twice the highest daily count thus far of 17, bringing the total to over 200 patients.
To prevent the further spread of the disease, the Tokyo Metropolitan Government confirmed at a meeting on 23 March that large-scale events scheduled up to 12 April should be canceled. Governor Koike said, “It is a serious phase of infection explosion. If the situation continues, it will lead to a lockdown. I want everyone to be aware that each person’s actions have a social impact to overcome this difficult crisis.”
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs plans to issue a Level 2 danger warning, encouraging people to avoid unnecessary global travel due to the spread of the disease. This is the first time a Level 2 warning has been issued for all locations worldwide.
The call to stay home comes a day after Japan and the International Olympic Committee confirmed that the Tokyo Olympic Games would be delayed by 12 months until the summer of 2021.