The central government lifted the restriction on travelling across prefectures on June 19. Accordingly, it is expected to handle both restoration of socioeconomic conditions and prevention of infection at the same time.
NIG has paid attention to the situation of infection since June 19. Now we aim at dealing with education and research activities while prioritizing the prevention of the spread of infection. We hereby ease the restrictions on “lectures as a means of education” and “NIG collaboration and research meetings”.
However, the threat of the novel coronavirus has not gone away. Each member of NIG is aware that the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic may occur again anytime in the future. We remain careful, follow NIG’s internal rules for preventing the spread of infection, and practice the “new normal” that the central government has
The operation is carried out by giving the utmost consideration to the prevention of the spread of infection. Meetings should be conducted online as much as possible. Working from home is recommended. Commuters from outside the prefecture should work from home as much as possible. In case of having difficulty in maintaining working from home arrangements, they can opt for staggered commuting to avoid rush hours.
Lectures should be online as a general rule, but face-to-face classes can be conducted if need arises. When conducting face-to-face lectures, we will conform to the guidelines in “ Conference”. Research guidance and laboratory meetings should be conducted online as much as possible. The use of on-site welfare facilities is permitted. We will make sure to take precautions against infection when using them.
Meetings should be online as a general rule. When having face-to-face meetings through unavoidable circumstances, larger rooms are used to avoid three conditions of “poor ventilation” “intensive crowds” and “close social distance”.
We will make use of online meetings and avoid non-essential business trips and out-of-office work as much as possible. We will especially try to avoid business trips to (and out-of-office work in) areas with many infected people. When making necessary business trips and carrying out-of-office work, we will make sure to protect ourselves from being infected. Overseas business trips are permitted only to the areas (countries) which meet both following requirements: (1) No immigration restrictions / activity restrictions are placed on visitors from Japan. (2) The areas are categorized as “Level 1” (Exercise caution) based on “Overseas Travel Safety Information (Infectious Disease Level)” issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan. Overseas business trips to the areas other than the above-mentioned should be cancelled or postponed.
We would appreciate your cooperation in reducing as much as possible the number of visitors to NIG, inclusive of those from areas with many infected people. We ask for the utmost cooperation of visitors (including delivery vendors) in preventing the spread of infection by means of wearing masks and disinfecting hands when entering our facilities. Beside, collaborative research with other universities and research institutes should be carried out with adequate precautions against the spread of infection.
The novel coronavirus enters our body through the mouth, nose or eyes mainly by way of our hands (contagious infection). We assume that virus could be present anywhere and practice frequent handwashing. The virus also spreads through airborne droplets by coughing and speaking (droplet infection). One of the characteristics of this virus is that many of the infected people are entirely asymptomatic although contagious, and an infected individual can spread the virus prior to showing symptoms. We make sure to wear masks when contacting other people and when in the common spaces. We try to avoid contact with people by avoiding non-essential outings and keeping a distance as much as possible from the others. We will practice these measures and reduce the risk of the spread of infection.
The central government of Japan and Shizuoka prefectural government intends to gradually ease the measures against the novel coronavirus disease. Here at NIG, we will also relax the restrictions in stages by giving the utmost consideration to the prevention of the spread of infection, so that we will be able to minimize the hindrance to our operation.
Nevertheless, it is not necessary to get back to the pre-coronavirus work condition in tune with the relaxation of the restrictions. We will consider our staff members’ suitable work style and adopt any of the efficient ways, such as “working from home” “stagger commuting hours” and “scaling down of works” which have been carried out as a part of the preventive measures against the infectious disease.
The socioeconomic activities are restarted in many industries and business worlds. However, we will not let our guard down and continue efforts in preventing infectious risks.
Director-General (Head of the Department of Genetics)
National Institute of Genetics
July 2, 2020