(Tokyo) – While citizens are not giving up their traditional walk to admire and photograph the sakura no kaika, i.e. the cherry blossoms, on the evening of March 25th, at 8 p.m., in an unexpected and alarming press conference, the governor of Tokyo Yuriko Koike denounced a “Severe outbreak of Covid-19” in Tokyo.
Following the announcement that the Olympic Games would be postponed, more credible information on the real situation of the coronavirus in Japan is beginning to circulate.
Koike has in fact confirmed to journalists that on March 25th 41 people tested positive, the highest number in Tokyo in a single day since the outbreak of the epidemic and more than twice as many as the cases of contagion – 17 – reported the previous day.
This brings the total number of people who contracted the coronavirus in Tokyo to 212. During the press conference, the governor addressed the citizens saying, “I ask for your cooperation to prevent the further spread of the virus, conscious of the fact that we are facing a serious crisis.”
Speaking to journalists, and expressing concern over the possibility of a high risk level, Yuriko Koike requested citizens’ full cooperation by taking the necessary precautions, being prepared for telework where possible and staying at home: “I ask you to avoid going out on weekends,” she told residents, “except in case of emergency.”
Since 5 of 41 people who tested positive for the virus had returned from abroad, the Governor urged all incoming travellers to undertake a 14-day quarantine from the day of their return as an act of responsibility.
Professor Atsuro Hamada of Tokyo Medical University of Medicine, an expert in infectious diseases, reported that 74 people had been infected in Tokyo in the last three days, amounting to a dramatic increase in the virus’s spread.
“It’s a clear signal that something is changing and we are entering a critical phase.”
Already on March 24th Governor Keiko had announced that the city might go into lockdown in the event of an emergency, signalling that the situation in Tokyo was getting worse.
Tokyo residents, alarmed by alarming news reports as of the evening of the 25th of March, raided numerous supermarkets, leaving empty shelves behind.