The US military has increased restrictions on its personnel in Okinawa to stop the spread of Covid-19, the top American military official in Japan said in a virtual press conference Wednesday.
Lt. Gen. Kevin Schneider, the commander of US Forces Japan (USFJ), said local commanders at US installations in Japan have been instructed to tighten movements of US personnel to ensure the virus does not spread. There are 139 “active cases” of the virus among US military personnel, civilians and their families at US bases in the country, said Schneider.
The commander has extended a public health emergency, which has been in place since April, through the middle of August, according to a joint statement by the Japanese government and USFJ. In addition, all installations in Okinawa have elevated their local health protection condition level to C+, which means significant additional restrictions are in place.
About the cases: Okinawa prefectural government confirmed one new coronavirus case in Kadena air base in Okinawa today, bringing the total number of the infections among US military personnel in Okinawa to 237 cases since July 1.
Okinawa recorded its highest number of daily infections at 44 new cases among Japanese today, including two people who work at the US bases. The government said Wednesday was the first time that workers at the U.S. bases tested positive.