print PRINT

SOCIETY

Japan struggling to prepare for coronavirus threat

  • January 22, 2020
  • , Jiji Press , 11:15 a.m.
  • English Press

Tokyo, Jan. 22 (Jiji Press)–As Japan prepares for an influx of Chinese visitors during the Lunar New Year holiday period, hotels and other commercial facilities are struggling to devise measures for preventing the spread of a new coronavirus strain from China.

 

One major hotel chain operator said that it does not plan to take special measures against the threat of the coronavirus. Hotel reception staff are unable to take ordinary prevention measures such as wearing surgical masks from a hospitality perspective.

 

Another hotel company, Prince Hotels Inc., plans to post warnings around the lobby in Japanese, English and Chinese calling on visitors to alert hotel staff if they feel unwell.

 

Restaurant chain giants McDonald’s Co. (Japan) and Ootoya Holdings Co. <2705> are also unable to take special measures, falling back on ordinary hygiene management measures such as making employees wash their hands.

 

One source from a major department store operator said that companies’ hands are tied, as measures to distinguish Chinese visitors from other people would be infeasible.

 

Some companies, such as electronics stores, see the wave of visitors from the coronavirus-struck Asian neighbor as a business opportunity. Laox Co. <8202> and Bic Camera Inc. <3048> plan to increase its stock of high-performance Japanese masks to meet demand from Chinese visitors.

 

Japan is the most popular foreign travel destination for Chinese people during seven-day holiday starting Friday, according to Chinese online travel agency Ctrip. The agency said that visitors to Japan during Lunar New Year are up 51 pct from a year earlier.

 

Singapore is the second most popular country in the Ctrip ranking, followed by Malaysia and Thailand.

 

Lunar New Year is the busiest period in China in terms of movement, with some three billion people expected to move around during the 40-day period including before and after the weeklong holiday.

 

The severe acute respiratory syndrome, or SARS, epidemic in China in 2002-2003 was fueled partly by authorities not disclosing information regarding the deadly disease before the Lunar New Year holiday in 2003.

  • Ambassador
  • Ukraine
  • OPINION POLLS
  • COVID-19
  • Trending Japan