While Japan continues to issue stay-at-home orders to residents amid the coronavirus, scores of people are defying the government by visiting tourist centers in the country.
Local beaches and mountains near Tokyo have witnessed an increase in visitors causing more concerns over the potential spread of the coronavirus, Japan Times reports.
Crowds Storm Beaches and Mountains
The report confirmed that a beach close to the Enoshima island in Fujisawa, Kanagawa Prefecture, saw about ten surfers on Wednesday morning. After analyzing the license plates on most vehicles, sources confirmed to the news source that most of the visitors appeared to be from Tokyo and its environs.
Another source confirmed to the news medium that the beach had also seen scores of people the past weekend, with young people also gathering across several local restaurants as well.
“Maybe they think it would not be serious if they are infected (with the coronavirus). But they should also think of the risk of infecting elderly people,” the source said.
The city eventually issued a joint statement on crowd gatherings on Wednesday morning, after it had gotten over a staggering 200 complaints of crowds and clusters of people, as well as traffic jams.
Fujisawa city authorities counseled against any gatherings for now, while they also joined ten other municipalities to petition the Kanagawa Prefectural Government for the closure of major road networks.
A similar account as given at the popular Mount Tsukuba in Ibaraki Prefecture, which the Japan Times confirmed has drawn crowds in recent days, with some even coming from outside the region to sightsee instead of staying home for the time being.
Per the report, a parking lot close to the mountain had as much as 600 cars parked there earlier this month, while hundreds still travel down there on workdays. Like Fujisawa, the Tsukuba city government shut down the destination until further notice after it got word that people were gathering there.
Time to Test More
Per estimates, Japan currently has 12,400 confirmed cases of the virus, while 328 people have lost their lives. While the numbers aren’t as high and lofty as those of the United States and several other countries, authorities have still advocated for physical distancing and staying at home in a bid to prevent a spread and improve hospitals’ ability to attend to the infected.
Experts have also called for an increase in testing capacities, as the number of confirmed cases has continued to surge. Japan has so far conducted polymerase chain reaction tests on about 130,000 people.
The fact that over 12,000 of those people have now tested positive is a bit of a concern, and experts are now counseling for rapid testing capacities. They went on to point out that neighboring South Korea has recorded over 500,000 tests already.
The problem of tourist attractions and people gathering, however, has stretched even beyond Japan.
Earlier this week, the LA Times reported that police in the San Mateo County city of Pacifica were informed about a crowd gathering at the Linda Mar Beach.
The police officers were shocked to find a crowd of about 275 people at the beach, with many of them violating the state’s 5-mile restriction on travel to enjoy themselves under the sun.
Police Captain Chris Clement went on to restrict parking anywhere close to the beach, while also cutting off access to the tourist sites. The force additionally put police officers on patrol to turn back any prospective beachgoers.