Here are the latest updates from Japan and beyond on the coronavirus outbreak:
(Staff members of the Tokyo metropolitan government wearing face masks hold signs as they call people to stay home in the Kabukicho entertainment area on April 11, 2020 in Tokyo)[Getty/Kyodo]
As of 5 p.m., Sunday, April 19 (Japan time)
- China’s health authorities on Sunday reported 16 new symptomatic cases of coronavirus infections on the mainland, of which nine were imported from abroad.
- With the spread of the novel coronavirus, some couples are being forced to address underlying issues in their relationships that have largely gone ignored until now, pushing them to the brink of divorce. But one service is stepping in to help them save their marriages before it is too late, offering couples a breather from each other as they try to obey stay-at-home requests due to the virus.
As of 11:00 p.m., Saturday, April 18 (Japan time)
- A leading global health scientist has said holding the Tokyo Olympics in 2021 would be “very unrealistic” without an effective vaccine for the new coronavirus, the BBC reported Friday on its website.
- Los Angeles Angels two-way player Shohei Ohtani voiced his support on Friday for healthcare workers in his homeland who are battling the new coronavirus.
- North Korean state media reported Saturday that all foreigners in the country who had been subject to measures aimed at preventing a local outbreak of the new coronavirus have been released from quarantine.
- South Korean health authorities on Saturday reported 18 newly confirmed cases of novel coronavirus, marking the first time for the daily figure to fall below 20 in around two months.
- Some experts say customs and social habits in Japan such as wearing face masks during seasonal flu outbreaks, bowing rather than handshaking, and removing shoes at home might play some role in hindering transmission of the new coronavirus, although to what extent is still unknown.
- The whole of Japan entered its first weekend under a state of emergency Saturday, with tourist sites and entertainment districts largely deserted as people heed a government call to stay home to stop the coronavirus’ spread.
- Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is desperate to strike the right note over his oft-criticized coronavirus response, hoping to stem both growing infections and faltering public support.
- As the coronavirus pandemic affects nearly every part of people’s lives, President Donald Trump continues to face a crucial leadership test as he pushes to reopen the shuttered U.S. economy ahead of the November election.
- Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said Friday that the World Health Organization, which faces criticism over its response to the coronavirus pandemic, is in need of reform but stressed that Japan has no plan to stop funding the U.N. agency.
List of shops closed in Tokyo following emergency declaration
Useful resources for foreign residents and visitors in Japan
- NEW! Tokyo Metropolitan Government’s “Tokyo Coronavirus Support Center for Foreign Residents (TOCOS)” multilingual hotline
– Available in Simple Japanese, English, Chinese, Korean, Vietnamese, Nepali, Indonesian, Tagalog, Thai, Portuguese, Spanish, French, Khmer, and Burmese, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekdays except national holidays.
0120-296-004 (toll free)
- AMDA Medical Information Center’s “Multilingual Consultation Service Regarding COVID-19”
(April 10~May 20, 2020)
– Available in English, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekdays, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on weekends and national holidays. Also available in Chinese, Korean, Tagalog, Thai, Spanish, Vietnamese and Portuguese on designated weekdays. Check schedule here.
– Available in English and Chinese on weekdays only, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
- Tokyo Metropolitan Government’s COVID-19 info
- Tokyo Metropolitan Government’s hotline
– Available in English, Chinese, Korean and Japanese, 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.
– Available via fax for those with hearing impairments
- Japan National Tourism Organization’s “Guide for when you are feeling ill”
– Multilingual clinic/hospital search available in English, Korean, Simplified Chinese, Traditional Chinese, Japanese
- JNTO’s “Japan Visitor Hotline“
– Available in English, Chinese, Korean and Japanese 24 hours a day
+81-50-3816-2787 (from overseas)
- Japan’s health ministry hotline
– Available in Japanese only, 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.
- World Health Organization’s “Q&A on coronaviruses“