Here are the latest updates from Japan and beyond on the coronavirus outbreak:
As of 11 p.m., Thursday, March 5 (Japan time)
- Tests for the new coronavirus will be covered under the national health insurance system from Friday, the health ministry said, as Japan steps up efforts to stem the spread of the pneumonia-causing virus
- The pet dog of a Hong Kong coronavirus patient has contracted the virus, marking the first reported case of human-to-animal transmission, local authorities said Thursday.
- Japan is considering bolstering its defenses against the new coronavirus by checking visitors from China and South Korea for infection and suspending the validity of visas already issued, sources familiar with the plan said Thursday.
- An outbreak of the new coronavirus has not only delayed Chinese President Xi Jinping's state visit to Japan but may lead to cancellation of it amid mounting criticism against him for his handling of human rights and territorial issues.
- North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has sent a personal letter to South Korean President Moon Jae In commiserating with South Koreans over the coronavirus outbreak, the presidential office said Thursday
- Chinese President Xi Jinping has postponed his visit to Japan in April, the Japanese government said Thursday, ending weeks of speculation over whether the trip would go ahead amid efforts to contain the coronavirus epidemic.
- Japan's ruling and opposition parties agreed Thursday to vote on temporary legislation on March 12 that will enable the government to declare a state of emergency if necessary as Prime Minister Shinzo Abe battles with criticism about his slow response to the coronavirus outbreak.
- China on Thursday reported 139 new coronavirus infection cases for the mainland, most of them in the hard-hit province of Hubei, as the death toll reached over 3,000.
- South Korea confirmed another 145 cases of coronavirus infection on Thursday, bringing the tally to over 6,000.
- International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach said Wednesday the words cancellation and postponement were not even mentioned in regards to this summer's Tokyo Olympics as the organization held an executive board meeting amid the ongoing coronavirus outbreak.
- Grocery home delivery businesses in Japan have been getting busier as many people hesitate to go out due to the spread of coronavirus infections.
- New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Wednesday that around 300 students in the State University of New York and City University of New York systems who are studying in Japan and four other countries will be recalled to the United States over growing fears of the new coronavirus.
As of 11 p.m., Wednesday, March 4 (Japan time)
- The Tokyo Olympics organizing committee informed the International Olympic Committee on Wednesday of its plans to cope with conditions related to the current coronavirus outbreak during the torch relay starting from March 26.
- Takeda Pharmaceutical Co. said Wednesday it will start developing a drug to treat people infected with the fast-spreading new coronavirus and aims to commercialize it in as early as nine months
- Chinese health authorities warned in new guidelines published Wednesday that the novel coronavirus can be transmitted through contact with contaminated excrement and urine
- The national high school baseball invitational tournament, slated to begin March 19, will either be held without spectators or canceled because of the new coronavirus, the Japan High School Baseball Federation said Wednesday.
- Test kit to detect coronavirus in 1 hour may be released in March
- The number of coronavirus infections reported in Japan topped 1,000 on Wednesday. The tally, based on information provided by the health ministry and local authorities, included 706 people who were aboard the Diamond Princess cruise ship.
- Japan Airlines Co. and All Nippon Airways Co. said Wednesday they will reduce domestic flights from this Friday to next Thursday, the first cutback in air services in Japan amid the spread of the new coronavirus.
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)
- 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's health ministry hotline
- Available in Japanese only, 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.
- World Health Organization's "Q&A on coronaviruses"