Chiba Pref. no longer identifying close contacts at daycare centers

Yomiuri Shimbun file photo
Chiba Gov. Toshihito Kumagai

The Chiba prefectural government is no longer identifying close contacts of individuals infected with novel coronavirus when children at daycare centers and other facilities are confirmed to have been infected.

If children are identified as close contacts, they cannot go to daycare centers, making it impossible for their parents to go to work. “This measure will help reduce the impact on socio-economic activities,” Chiba Gov. Toshihito Kumagai said at a regular press conference Thursday. If a cluster of infections is suspected, the prefecture will identify close contacts. The policy has been in effect since Wednesday.

In March, the Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry decided not to ask general business establishments in areas with a large number of infections to identify close contacts or restrict commuting to work. However, the ministry has sent a written notice asking municipalities to identify close contacts in principle at daycare centers and other childcare facilities.

“Epidemiological measures should be uniform throughout the country,” Kumagai said at the press conference, urging the central government to review the current policy.