The spread of the novel coronavirus infection shows no signs of stopping in Japan and in the world, and we have experienced through so-called “pandemic” phase.
The central government of Japan re-evaluated the declaration of the state of emergency and announced (on May 14) to lift the emergency declaration in 39 prefectures including Shizuoka, though movement restrictions are still requested in the eight special alert prefectures, such as Tokyo and Kanagawa.
In view of the location of NIG, which adjoins the metropolitan area, we maintain the measures to prevent further spread of infection, and take following actions with a goal of protecting the health and safety of local residents, our students, faculty and staff, and bringing the coronavirus spread to a halt as soon as possible.
Please note that these measures are subject to change in accordance with the situation of the spread of infection.
For the research activities, projects and management, the operation is continued to be carried out by giving the utmost consideration to the prevention of the spread of infection. Meetings should be conducted online as a general rule.
Working from home is continuously recommended. In case of having difficulty in maintaining working from home arrangements, staggered commuting can be the option. Besides, same as up until now, commuting from the special alert prefectures (Tokyo, Kanagawa, Chiba, Saitama, etc.) is in principle prohibited.
When entering the laboratories, students are required to minimize both the number of the rooms to enter and the time spent there, and to take enough precautions against infection. Lectures, research guidance and laboratory meetings should be conducted online. The use of outdoor welfare facilities such as tennis courts is permitted.
Meetings to be conducted online only.
Business trips to (and out-of-office work in) the special alert prefectures are prohibited. It is also prohibited to get on and off the public transportation at places within the area of these prefectures. Business trips to the area other than the above are not prohibited, while it is required to protect from being infected from the novel coronavirus. All overseas business trips are prohibited.
Visitors from the special alert prefectures are prohibited. However, if the purpose of their visit is regarded especially important and urgent for the institute, permission could be offered. Besides, we will suspend the collaborative research such as NIG-JOINT.
We ask for our suppliers’ cooperation in wearing masks, disinfecting hands with alcohol disinfectant, and refraining from accessing the facilities (i.e. research buildings) other than the designated place.
The novel coronavirus enters our body through the mouth, nose or eyes mainly by way of our hands and airborne droplets. This virus is highly transmissible but is readily deactivated by proper handwashing. Wearing face masks is also recommended for both personal protection and to protect others, as an infected individual can spread the virus prior to showing symptoms. Please also be conscientious about coughing/sneezing manners to prevent spread of the virus.
We need to expect that the struggle against the novel coronavirus will be a long battle. Even after the state of emergency declaration is lifted across the country, we must maintain the measures until the time when the testing system is established, and the supply of vaccine and antiviral agents becomes available, which eventually leads us back to “normal”.
We would appreciate your understanding and cooperation in an effort to prevent further spread of SARS-CoV-2. Please act with a sense of crisis for protecting yourself, your beloved family and friends from the risk of infection.
Director-General (Head of the Department of Genetics)
National Institute of Genetics
May 15, 2020