Sixteen Cities and Towns In Fukui Prefecture, Resumption of Classes Postponed

Sixteen Cities and Towns In Fukui Prefecture, Resumption of Classes Postponed

For Echizen Town, Postponed Until April 20th

By April 6th, in response to the requests received by Tatsuji Sugimoto, governor of Fukui Prefecture, to continue the temporary school closures until after Golden Week, in light of the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), the board of education of 16 cities and towns (excluding Echizen Town) have decided to postpone the resumption of elementary and junior high school classes until at least May 7th. The Echizen Town Board of Education has plans to resume classes from April 20th. The school entrance ceremonies for 12 municipal districts have also been postponed until at least May 7th. In Echizen Town, Ikeda Town, Oi Town, and Takahama Town, the entrance ceremonies were carried out on April 6th. Tsuruga City is scheduled to hold its school entrance ceremonies on April 8th.

On April 6th, the board of education in Katsuyama City, Ono City, and Minamiechizen Town made the decision to postpone the resumption of classes until at least May 7th. The Echizen Town Board of Education expressed in a statement, “We wish to make a judgement closer to April 20th, whether or not to resume classes from that day or to further postpone it.”

On April 6th, the decision to postpone the entrance ceremonies was made by the board of education of Fukui City, Katsuyama City, Ono City, Obama City, Eiheiji Town, Minamiechizen Town, and Mihama Town; including 4 municipalities who have already made the decision, this brings a total of 12 towns and cities to postpone towards the same day.

With the entrance ceremonies being carried out on April 8th, the Tsuruga City Board of Education said in a statement, “The Municipal Tsuruga Hospital has verified that, with thorough implementation of infection prevention measures, such as wearing masks and room ventilation, holding the ceremony should post no problems.”

Regarding the postponement of entrance ceremonies in Fukui City, a mother (aged 44) of a new first-year elementary student expressed, “Because the reopening of schools has been postponed, it was good that the same has been done for the entrance ceremonies.” Another mother (aged 35) spoke with anxiety, “I had hoped that the entrance ceremony would be carried out, as a break from this situation. With an increasing gap between graduation from kindergarten and starting elementary school, it might take a long time (for children) to get used to school.”

According to the Prefectural University Private School Department, 9 private junior and senior high schools have suspended its entrance ceremonies, while others have postponed it until at least May 7th. All private schools will resume classes from the same day.

Concerning the entrance ceremonies of public kindergartens and nursery schools, the response has been divided between carrying out the ceremony as scheduled or postponing it.


Japan’s First Temporary Residence for COVID-19 Patients

Japan’s First Temporary Residence for COVID-19 Patients

Established in Fukui Prefecture, Admitting Patients who Tested Positive with Mild Symptoms

On April 6th, in an effort to secure hospital beds for patients infected with the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), Fukui Prefecture announced the establishment of the “Fukui City Shonen Shizen no Ie” (a youth outdoor learning centre) as a temporary residence; six patients, who have tested positive for the virus and experiencing mild symptoms, have already been admitted into the facility. Registered nurses have been stationed in the facility, and continuously monitoring the patients’ conditions, while maintaining contact with doctors. According to the prefecture, the temporary residence is the first of its kind in Japan. In addition, the prefecture had confirmed six new COVID-19 cases of men and women, including a health care worker, with ages ranging between the forties and fifties. It was the first occasion for Ono City to have a confirmed COVID-19 case, which brought the prefecture to a total of 59 cases.

The temporary residence was established from April 5th, and on the same day, had taken in four patients who had mild symptoms, from designated medical institutions, and two patients who had been self-isolating at home. The facility has 26 rooms, and will accommodate patients who are asymptomatic or are only experiencing mild symptoms. Registered nurses and OB nurses, who have experience dealing with infectious diseases, from the Fukui Nursing Association are stationed at the facility, operation on a 24-hour system. Doctors from the Fukui Medical Association are on stand-by, ready to be dispatched at any time.

Among the newly confirmed COVID-19 cases, the Echizen City female health care worker (in her 50s) is the wife the Echizen City male company employee, who was the prefecture’s 51st COVID-19 case; the woman had worked at a nursing home within the city. She was in charge of duties which included changing sheets and cleaning. From March 22nd, she had a persistent sore throat, and then on April 5th, tested positive for the virus. After the onset of symptoms, she had worked for approximately four hours at the nursing home on March 25th.

According to the prefecture, regarding the scale of interaction among those in the nursing home, it is still “under investigation”; just over ten people are currently monitoring their condition at home.

In Ono City, a male company executive (in his 50s), and two male company executives (in their 40s and 50s) who are brothers, have been confirmed with the virus. Including a female self-employed helper (in her 50s), all have either visited the same Fukui City restaurant, which had a number of patrons and customers confirmed with COVID-19, or had close contact with someone who did. In additions, the newly confirmed case of a Sabae City female company employee (in her 50s) is the wife of the patient in the prefecture’s 48th COVID-19 case. It appears that most cases within the prefecture are connected to form one large cluster. Investigations by Fukui Prefecture are still ongoing.

There are five patients in serious condition, of three people in their 50s, and two in their 70s.

Tallying the COVID-19 cases between the seven municipalities: Fukui City has 34 cases (1 recovered, 1 death), Echizen City has 13 cases (1 death), Sabae City has 5 cases, Ono City has 3 cases, Sakai City has 2 cases, Awara City has 1 case, and Minamiechizen Town has 1 case.


Medical Protective Equipment, Using Stationery and 3D Printers

Medical Protective Equipment, Using Stationery and 3D Printers

Printing Data Released for Public Use, in Response to Novel Coronavirus

On April 3rd, an Osaka University Specially Appointed Professor, Kiyokazu Nakajima (in the field of Gastroenterological Surgery) and his team unveiled the created of protective equipment for medical professionals, that protects the face from repiratory droplets, using a clear file folder and a 3D printer. Referred to as a “face shield”, the printing data for the face shield was published for anyone to use on the professor’s website, in response to concerns of shortages, in light of the continuous spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).

“In Western countries, protective equipment has begun to run short, and the potential of how much the virus will spread in developing countries is apparent. We considered the need to create equipment in a cheap and simple method,” said Professor Nakajima.

Using a 3D printer, a frame made of resin is produced. A clear file folder is then attached between both ends of the frame, and worn over the face like a pair of glasses, protecting the face from respiratory droplets that may carry the virus. “CHARMANT”, a glasses manufacturing company in Fukui Prefecture’s Sabae City, is offering its services to produce frames that will fit over the face. The cost of one frame will be between ¥100 and ¥300.

The printing data can be accessed here:


Six COVID-19 Cases in Fukui City, Ono City, and Echizen City

Six COVID-19 Cases in Fukui City, Ono City, and Echizen City

Novel Coronavirus, Fukui Prefecture, April 7th

On April 7th, Fukui Prefecture reported six new cases of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), of three people in Fukui City, two people in Ono City, and one person in Echizen City.

Brief details of the prefecture’s 60th through to the 65th cases are as follows:

[60] Ono City female company employee, in her 40s

[61] Ono City female company executive, in her 70s

[62] Fukui City unemployed male, in his 70s

[63] Fukui City male company employee, in his 50s

[64] Fukui City female company employee, in her 50s

[65] Echizen City female company employee, in her 50s

Excluding the Fukui City unemployed male [62], the other five people have had close or some interactions with a person who had been confirmed with COVID-19.