U.S. bases in Japan on lockdown amid new COVID-19 outbreak

Several U.S. military bases in Japan, including Camp Hansen on Okinawa, pictured, abruptly entered lockdowns this week as new coronavirus cases were reported in Japan. Photo by LCpl. Nicole Rogge/U.S. Marine Corps

July 10 (UPI) — U.S. military bases in Japan entered lockdown status this week after COVID-19 infections were discovered and a surge of infections was observed in Tokyo.

The entrance to Camp Hansen, a U.S. Marine Corps installation in Okinawa, was restricted, and personnel at the base were ordered to remain in their residences, officials told Military.com.

A similar order for Marine Corps Air Station Futenma, also on Okinawa, was put in place on Thursday after several people tested positive for the virus. The base was also closed for several hours on Tuesday to allow cleaning and contact tracing. The number of people infected and isolated was not revealed.

All Marine bases in Japan are under Health Protection Code Bravo, an indication of a “moderate” risk of the spread of the virus, a Marine spokesman said.

The classification calls for social distancing, the wearing of face coverings and limitation of off-base activities, the spokesman said.

Naval Air Facility Atsugi, south of Tokyo, was also locked down Thursday after new COVID-19 cases were discovered, Stars and Stripes reported. The order came the same day that the governor of Tokyo reported a surge of 224 new cases in the city. Tokyo’s previous one-day high, 206, occurred on April 17.

At least 20,371 cases of the virus were acknowledged in Japan this week by the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare, as well as at least 981 deaths.


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