The first case of COVID-19 infection in Japan was confirmed on January 28, 2020 in Hokkaido, three days after the Spring Festival in China (formerly “Chinese New Year”). The infected individual was a Chinese woman in her 40s who had visited Hokkaido from Wuhan city, China, on January 21, 2020. Thereafter, approximately two million tourists from various countries including China visited Sapporo for the Sapporo Snow Festival, which was held from January 31 to February 11. After the second infected individual was confirmed on February 14, 2020, the number of infected individuals started to increase, and on February 28, the governor of Hokkaido declared a state of emergency.

The first state of emergency declaration was made over the period from February 28 to March 19, and individuals had to observe the following rules: (1) thorough measures to prevent the spread of infection, (2) requests to stay at home, (3) requests to stop using facilities and holding events (cooperation requested), and (4) promotion of social distancing. Subsequently, the number of infected patients decreased. However, as the number of infected individuals started to increase again, a second declaration of a state of emergency was made over the period from April 17 to May 24.

According to the data provided by Agoop, Co., Ltd. (, the population of central Sapporo city (Sapporo station, Ohdori park, and Susukino) decreased by approximately 21% based on the average data three weeks before and after the first declaration of a state of emergency, and by approximately 57% after the second declaration.

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