Photo/Illutration After numerous Kobe-Nishi Police Station officers are confirmed to be infected with the new coronavirus, the public is barred from entering the building in Kobe on April 9. (Yushin Adachi)

The police chief and deputy chief of the Kobe-Nishi Police Station tested positive for the new coronavirus following a party to welcome him to the post, Hyogo prefectural police announced April 13.

At the police station, eight officers, including senior members, have already been confirmed infected. The station has 10 infected officers in total.

Seven of the senior officers, including the chief and deputy chief, attended the party near the police station on the night of March 27, where five attendees were apparently infected.

The gathering was held to greet the new chief, following a personnel reshuffle announced on March 26.

The welcoming party was held despite Hyogo Governor Toshizo Ido's request on March 19 to residents to refrain from going out or meeting for unnecessary or nonessential purposes due to the spread of the new coronavirus.

Since a police superintendent in his or her 50s was confirmed to be infected with the virus on April 7 for the first time in the police station, about 120 officers have been self-isolating at home.

The police station is currently off-limits to the public. Instead, public functions, such as registering address changes for driver's licenses, are being conducted outside the building.