Over 800 who took part in Tokushima dance festival infected with coronavirus

More than 800 dancers and others, who took part in a popular mid-summer dance festival in western Japan, were found to have contracted the coronavirus.

The Awa Odori in Tokushima City is originally a Buddhist Bon dance, and one of Japan's most famous summer festivals. The marching dance festival was carried out on the city streets from August 12 through 15. It took place on its full scale for the first time in three years, with skilled dance groups performing and many tourists from outside Tokushima Prefecture joining the dance processions.

At an organizing committee meeting on Thursday, the results of a COVID-related survey of 123 dance groups were reported. These groups had taken part in this year's festival.

The survey shows that of the members of the 86 groups that responded, 819 people were confirmed to have been infected with the virus between August 11 through 25, which included the festival period.

From the 86 groups, a total of 3,425 people are estimated to have taken part in the festival. This means that about a quarter of these groups' members were infected.

At the committee meeting, some panel members raised questions over the enforcement of coronavirus protocols during the festival. They called for a more detailed survey to better prepare for the event next year and beyond.

The panel plans to review this year's experiences, and study anti-virus measures and organizing methods for next year's festival.