While the national government drive forward legal revisions to allow the declaration of a national emergency over the COVID-19 virus as early as this week, local governments are growing increasingly concerned about the spread of the novel coronavirus in so-called clusters.
Experts say that small, cramped and poorly ventilated spaces where crowds gather for long periods of time in close proximity raise the risk of infection, and the development of clusters of cases. They have asked people to avoid such places if possible and not to go if they feel ill.
In Osaka, four small live music venues that held concerts from Feb. 15 to Feb. 24 appear to have facilitated the spread of the virus to other parts of the country. Osaka Prefecture reported 73 cases of COVID-19 as of Tuesday night. Of that total, over a dozen of those infected were confirmed to have either been at one of the four music clubs last month or come into close contact with someone else who did.