Here are the latest updates from Japan and beyond on the coronavirus outbreak:
As of 11:50 p.m., Friday, Feb. 28 (Japan time)
- Prime Minister Shinzo Abe agreed with China's foreign policy chief on Friday to continue preparations for Chinese President Xi Jinping's upcoming state visit to Japan amid speculation the trip will be postponed due to the deadly coronavirus outbreak.
- The government on Friday called on e-commerce firms to temporarily halt online auctions for face masks and disinfectants, aiming to prevent resellers from taking advantage of heightened demand amid the coronavirus outbreak.
- A British man who tested positive for the new coronavirus on the cruise ship Diamond Princess has died, the Japanese health ministry said Friday.
- Months-long protests that once crowded Hong Kong's streets on a weekly, and at times even daily, basis have almost completely halted since the outbreak of the new pneumonia-causing coronavirus last month. But public discontent with the city's leadership has only widened, a public opinion poll revealed Tuesday.
- South Korea continued to grapple with a surge in coronavirus infections on Friday as it reported 571 new cases, nearly doubling the total to 2,337 in just two days.
- The upcoming Spring Grand Sumo Tournament is unlikely to proceed as planned due to the growing coronavirus crisis, the Japan Sumo Association said Friday.
- Growing community infections of the new pneumonia-causing coronavirus worldwide have rattled financial markets and triggered a global stock sell-off, possibly dealing a further blow to Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.
- Hokkaido Gov. Naomichi Suzuki declared a state of emergency on Friday and asked residents to remain indoors over the weekend as the new coronavirus has spread in Japan's northernmost main island.
- Tokyo Disneyland and Universal Studios Japan will close from Saturday to March 15 to help curb the spread of the coronavirus outbreak in the country, the operators of the theme parks said.
- Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's abrupt request for all of Japan's schools to be closed from next week through early April amid concern over the spread of the new coronavirus has triggered confusion in the country, with many expressing anger.
- Japan's education minister Koichi Hagiuda said Friday the government wants children to remain indoors at home while elementary, junior and high schools in the country are closed over coronavirus fears.
- The head of the World Health Organization urged countries around the world to take necessary measures to prevent the new coronavirus from becoming a pandemic, saying the situation has reached "a decisive point."
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
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"