TOKYO (TR) – The Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare has revealed that a farewell party held last month was “very likely” the source of a cluster of coronavirus infections within the ministry.
Last week, the ministry said that a total of 29 staff members had tested positive for the coronavirus. Of them, 12 attended the party.
“The series of infections very likely converged,” a representative of the ministry said on Wednesday.
On March 24, a total of 23 staff members from a ministry health and welfare bureau for the elderly gathered at an izakaya restaurant in Ginza for the party.
Despite a government request that bars and restaurants close by 9:00 p.m., some staff members remained until just before midnight.
No symptoms of COVID-19
Since that day, infections have been found one after another within members of the bureau.
According to the ministry, the staff members are not showing symptoms of COVID-19, such as fever. As well, Wednesday marked two weeks since a staff member who was found to be infected went to work.
The ministry also said that it will continue to strengthen infection control measures and implement teleworking for staff.