Ghibli Museum Stays Closed Due to Coronavirus COVID-19 Concerns, Maintenance Until April 28

posted on by Rafael Antonio Pineda
Yuruyuri creator Namori opts out of Comic Market, but event is still planning for May 2-5

The Ghibli Museum announced on Friday that the museum is extending its closure until April 28. The museum cited concerns over the new coronavirus disease (COVID-19), as well as its plan to move up its regularly scheduled maintenance from May to April. Tickets for April 29 through May 31 will go on sale on April 10.

The museum has remained closed since February 25 due to concerns over COVID-19, and it had offered refunds for tickets dated through March 30. It is now offering refunds for tickets until April 30.

The museum had announced on Monday that it is delaying the sale of all tickets for April visits until the museum reopens. Before its current closure, it had planned to be closed from May 19 to May 29 for its regular semiannual maintenance. It now plans to use its current closure for maintenance and stay open in May.

In a separate development, Yuruyuri manga creator Namori stated on her Twitter account on Wednesday that she will forego attending this year's summer Comic Market (Comiket) dōjinshi convention due to her own concerns about COVID-19. The Comic Market Committee has not made any announcements about delaying or canceling summer Comiket, which it already rescheduled two months earlier than usual to accommodate the 2020 Summer Oympics. The committee is still planning to hold the event at Tokyo Big Sight from May 2 to May 5.

Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe said on February 27 that the government is asking elementary, junior high, and high schools to close until the end of spring break in early April to contain the spread of COVID-19. The government is also encouraging children and others to stay home and avoid large gatherings for the next few weeks. In March, venues and events such as Tokyo Disneyland/DisneySea, Universal Studios Japan, Sanrio Puro Land, NAMJATOWN, and AnimeJapan are canceled, downscaled, or temporarily closed.

The first reported cases of COVID-19 were in Wuhan, China in December, and then the disease began to spread in varying rates and intensities across many parts of the globe through incubation in human hosts. The World Health Organization (WHO) declared a world health emergency on January 30, and announced on Wednesday that it is classifying the outbreak as a pandemic. As of Thursday, the WHO reported that there are 125,048 infected individuals worldwide, with 80,981 of them in China. 3,173 individuals have died from the disease in China, and 1,440 have died outside China. The WHO raised its global risk assessment over the virus from "high" to "very high" on February 28.

As of Thursday, the WHO reported that Japan has 620 cases of COVID-19 with 15 deaths. These numbers do not include the number of cases from the Diamond Princess cruise ship docked in Yokohama. That cruise ship had 696 infected passengers and seven deaths.

Sources: Ghibli Museum's website, Namori's Twitter account via Yaraon!

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