As of 11 p.m., Wednesday, March 18 (Japan time)
- Japan's northernmost main island of Hokkaido will lift Thursday a state of emergency declared late last month following the rapid spread of the new coronavirus, its governor said.
- As Malaysia ordered a two-week nationwide lockdown to curb the spread of the new coronavirus, a horde of workers commuting daily to Singapore formed a long queue at the border checkpoints to make it in before the measure took effect midnight Tuesday.
- The Japanese government and the ruling coalition are considering providing cash to households in an effort to buoy personal spending dented by the coronavirus outbreak, sources close to the matter said Wednesday.
- Japan will ask travelers from 38 European and other countries, including Egypt and Iran, to self-quarantine for 14 days after their arrival, in an attempt to contain the spread of the new coronavirus, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said Wednesday.
- A man infected with the novel coronavirus who went to a Filipino pub earlier this month saying he wanted to "spread the virus" died Wednesday at a hospital in central Japan, investigative sources said.
- The city government of Osaka officially decided Wednesday to offer free school lunches to all of its public elementary and junior high school students from April to alleviate the financial burden on households caused by the spread of the novel coronavirus.
- As the spread of the new coronavirus has caused most schools in Japan to close, parents have turned to apps to help in looking after their children and doing household chores.
- A Japanese government panel decided Wednesday to cancel court banquets to be held in April for Crown Prince Fumihito in celebration of his elevation to first in line to the Chrysanthemum Throne, as the new coronavirus continues to spread.
- Canadian Hayley Wickenheiser, an athletes' commission representative for the International Olympic Committee, accused the IOC of being "insensitive and irresponsible" for pushing ahead with plans to hold this summer's Tokyo Games in face of the coronavirus outbreak.
- Australia on Wednesday advised its citizens not to travel overseas indefinitely in an attempt to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus.
- U.S. President Donald Trump defended himself for referring to the new coronavirus as the "Chinese Virus," a phrase displeasing to leaders in Beijing who assert the origin of the global pandemic is yet to be determined.
- The operators of U.S. fast-food and coffee chains are limiting services to takeout and delivery across the country as the coronavirus outbreak continues to expand.
- The Italian government said it has confirmed more than 30,000 coronavirus cases in the country, the largest figure after mainland China.
- The International Olympic Committee said this summer's Tokyo Olympics will be held as scheduled, despite challenges posed by the coronavirus pandemic.
- Japan has yet to reach a peak in coronavirus infections, with the number of new cases on a declining trend in Hokkaido but the number of infected people rising in Aichi and Hyogo prefectures, a Kyodo News study showed.
As of 11:30 p.m., Tuesday, March 17 (Japan time)
- Finance Minister Taro Aso and his U.S. counterpart Steven Mnuchin agreed Tuesday to cooperate closely in defending financial markets and the global economy from the fallout from the coronavirus pandemic.
- Thailand's government on Tuesday decided to postpone celebrations of Songkran, the traditional Thai New Year's holiday held in mid-April, and to close schools for two weeks to curb the spread of the new coronavirus.
- Toyota Motor Corp. said Tuesday it has decided to suspend operations at its factories in Portugal and France for around two weeks in response to the governments' policies to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.
- The end-of-day ceremony of the Japan leg of the Olympic torch relay will be held without spectators throughout the relay's first days to prevent the spread of the new coronavirus, Tokyo Games organizing committee CEO Toshiro Muto said Tuesday.
- Osaka plans to offer free lunch meals for all students at city government-run elementary and junior high schools from April amid the spread of the novel coronavirus, Mayor Ichiro Matsui said Tuesday.
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"