As of 11 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 27 (Japan time)
A Malaysian woman who returned from Japan has tested positive for the new coronavirus, the Health Ministry said Thursday.
- Kanagawa Prefecture and government-backed research institute Riken said Thursday they have developed a testing method that can detect the new coronavirus in 30 minutes, far shorter than the six hours required with current tests.
- International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach said the body is fully committed to the Tokyo Olympics going ahead on schedule despite the ongoing threat of a coronavirus outbreak.
- Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said Thursday the government will ask all elementary, junior-high and high schools in Japan to shut from Monday amid growing fears of the spread of the new coronavirus.
- As the coronavirus outbreak sends people on city-wide quests to find a store stocking face masks, the government and manufacturers have seemingly failed in their response to the crisis, fueling concern that shortages will continue for some time.
- Twenty-four of Japan's 47 prefectures have not yet increased the number of hospital beds for patients suffering coronavirus infection as requested by the central government, a Kyodo News survey showed Thursday.
- Crew members aboard the Diamond Princess, quarantined in Yokohama due to the new coronavirus outbreak, started disembarking Thursday. They will stay at a government facility near Tokyo for further monitoring by doctors, and can leave the facility if testing negative for the virus.
- The daily coronavirus death toll in mainland China fell to its lowest in nearly a month, health authorities said .
- The United States and South Korea will postpone, until further notice, joint military exercises planned for the spring due to the spread of a new coronavirus, the two sides said Thursday.
- U.S. President Donald Trump said he hopes Tokyo will host the Olympics this summer as planned. "I hope it's gonna be fine," Trump said at a press conference, while reassuring people in the United States that the risks posed by the new coronavirus remain low in the country.
- Pakistan confirmed the country's first coronavirus infections and has placed two individuals in isolation wards at hospitals in Karachi.
- Brazil confirmed the coronavirus infection of a 61-year-old man who had returned from a trip to Italy, marking the first report of the disease in Latin America.
As of 11 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 26 (Japan time)
- South Korea said Wednesday that its total coronavirus infection cases have exceeded 1,200 as the situation rapidly worsens in the country, with the first case confirmed among U.S. military personnel.
- China has seized over 31 million fake or inferior face masks, the country's public security authorities reported Wednesday, shedding light on the desperation brought on by the country's mask shortage.
- Fourteen percent of patients infected with the new coronavirus and discharged from the hospital in the southern Chinese province of Guangdong after recovering have tested positive again, according to local health authorities.
- Japan on Wednesday dismissed a comment by an International Olympic Committee member suggesting a decision would be made by late May on whether the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics will go ahead amid the new coronavirus outbreak, saying it is "not official."
- Meanwhile, the Japanese government will ask organizers of big sports and cultural events to consider canceling or postponing them for the next two weeks, a critical time for Japan to stem a rise in coronavirus infections.
- The Japan Rugby Football Union said Wednesday it will postpone a total of 16 games across two rounds of the 2020 Top League season due to the growing alarm over the spiraling coronavirus crisis. Nippon Professional Baseball announced it will hold all 72 of its remaining preseason games behind closed doors. Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic organizers said a Paralympic Boccia test event will be held without athletes due to concerns over the current coronavirus outbreak.
- In an effort to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus, the education board of Hokkaido in northern Japan will urge local authorities on Wednesday to temporarily close all 1,600 public elementary and junior high schools in the prefecture.
- Concerns over the spread of new coronavirus infections have prompted some Japanese companies to switch to online seminars and interviews for the recruitment of new graduates in April 2021.
Useful resources for foreign residents and visitors in Japan:
- 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"