Construction stalls amidst coronavirus shutdown

Major construction companies are temporarily shuttering building sites across the country in an effort to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus as the government declares a nationwide state of emergency. 

On April 8, a day after the prime minister initially announced a state of emergency across seven prefectures, Nishimatsu Construction Co. made plans to close construction sites in affected areas. 

On April 13, Shimizu Corporation announced that three workers at a construction site in Tokyo had contracted the virus. One of the workers, a man in his 50s, died at home after showing signs of a fever from April 3. The company is now in the process of temporarily closing as many as 500 worksites until May 6. 

This month, employees of Obayashi Corporation tested positive for the coronavirus at two different worksites. The company will suspend construction at 350 sites from April 25 to May 10.

On April 15, Toda Corporation suspended work at 140 construction sites in 7 prefectures. They plan to re-start on May 7.

Some companies are pushing ahead. As of April 16, Taisei Corporation was continuing to work, cooperating with customers on an individual basis. Workers are given scattered rest breaks and must practice social distancing during morning assembly. Kajima Corporation was planning to work through the state of emergency, but announced on April 17 that they will be stopping work at their 700 sites across the country until May 6.

The Nikkei Shimbun, April 15, 2020.
The Nikkei Shimbun, April 16, 2020.
Toyo Keizai, April 16, 2020.
Kyoto Tsushin, April 17, 2020.

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