KITAKYUSHU – The mayor of this southwestern Japanese city has revealed plans to resume scattered school attendance for municipal elementary and secondary schools, as the number of confirmed cases of novel coronavirus infections continues to rise in Fukuoka Prefecture Municipality.
The mayor of Kitakyushu, Kenji Kitahashi, made the announcement during a regular press conference on June 3. Pupils in municipal primary and secondary schools currently attend school only in the morning.
A total of 12 students from five municipal primary and secondary schools had been infected with the coronavirus as of June 2. Referring to a primary school in the city’s Kokuraminami district, where a group of five students aged 10 or older contracted the virus, Mayor Kitahashi said: “This may be the first case of a cluster found in an elementary school in Japan. ” The mayor also revealed that he had asked for an increase in the number of officials dispatched from the “cluster” team of the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare.
A total of 119 people in Kitakyushu have been determined to be infected with the novel coronavirus during the 11 days starting May 23. Cluster infections are believed to have emerged in three emergency hospitals – the University of Occupational and Environmental Health Hospital in Yahatanishi Ward, Kitakyushu General Hospital in Kokurakita Ward and Central Moji Medical Center in the Moji Ward, wreaking havoc on the local emergency medical system.
Kitahashi said he understood the city was in the midst of a “second wave” of coronavirus infections, and during his press conference on June 3, called on residents to refrain from going out for reasons non-essential to prevent infections from spreading.
(Japanese original by Takuya Inoue and Eijiro Matsuda, Kyushu News Department)