Popular Tourist Spot Hokkaido Now Hit With COVID-19 Outbreak with 39 Confirmed Cases


Even if you’re one who doesn’t travel at all, you’d have heard of Hokkaido.

No, not from a plotless Japanese movie you’ve watched.

You’d have heard about its food: from the Hokkaido Salmon burger from Burger King to the once trending Hokkaido Cheese tarts.

Hokkaido is actually an island at the north end of Japan, and takes up to 1/5 of the entire Japan’s land. And because it’s so bigly, it’s filled with beautiful landscapes like these:

Photo by Marek Okon on Unsplash
Photo by Magic Mary on Unsplash

Needless to say, it’s a popular tourist spot due to its Instagram-worthy backdrop. Perfect for humblebragging.

But now, the island’s facing a crisis: the COVID-19.

And it’s getting worse.


Hokkaido Now Hit With COVID-19 Outbreak with 39 Confirmed Cases

Currently, the island has the largest COVID-19 cluster in Japan with 39 confirmed cases. Just like most of the cases there, they were reported gradually since 19 February 2020.

If that sounds familiar, it’s because that’s when South Korea’s COVID-19 started to spike as well.

All in all, as of the time of writing, there are 189 confirmed cases in Japan (excluding the cases in the Diamond Princess).

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Now, if you still want to head to Hokkaido for a vacation, here’s what you need to know.

The region is so badly hit that the education board has requested that schools to be closed for a week, simply because some of the infected people are students, a teacher and a school bus driver.

A whisky distillery has also halted its tours.

Hokkaido Governor Naomichi Suzuk supported the decision to shut down schools. He said, “This is an unprecedented case and there may be criticism that we are going overboard. But I will bear the responsibility and would like to ask for the public’s understanding and cooperation.”

It doesn’t help that it’s winter there now, and studies have shown that the COVID-19 virus can live longer in colder temperature.

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