Here are the latest updates from Japan and beyond on the coronavirus outbreak:
As of 11 p.m., Friday, March 6 (Japan time)
- The government decided Friday to cancel its memorial service next week to mark the ninth anniversary of the devastating earthquake and tsunami in northeastern Japan that left more than 15,000 people dead amid fears of coronavirus spread.
- South Korea on Friday announced the suspension of a visa-waiver program for Japanese and a mandatory two-week quarantine for visitors from the country, in response to similar measures imposed by Tokyo in connection with the new coronavirus outbreak.
- Japan will temporarily nullify 2.8 million visas held by Chinese and 17,000 held by South Koreans to prevent the new coronavirus from spreading in the country, the Foreign Ministry said Friday.
- The fallout from the coronavirus, which has caused some Japanese automakers to partially close plants, is likely to prolong both disruption of parts procurement in China and an ongoing sales slump, potentially forcing them to alter production plans in coming months, industry analysts say
- South Korea's Health and Welfare Ministry said Friday that it has confirmed 6,284 cases of infection with the new coronavirus, with the death toll at 42.
- China on Friday reported 143 new coronavirus infection cases for the mainland, most of them in the hard-hit province of Hubei, bringing the total number of confirmed cases to 80,552.
- A map created online last month by a South Korean university student charting reported coronavirus cases by Japanese municipality as well as the movements of those infected has garnered praise for being an effective visual representation of the current situation.
- Some e-learning program providers are offering their services for free to help students keep up with their studies while schools in Japan remain closed over the coronavirus outbreak.
- The Italian government said Thursday the number of deaths from the new coronavirus has reached 148 while more than 3,800 people have been infected with the virus.
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.
(Japanese tennis player Kei Nishikori attends a team draw event for the Davis Cup in Kobe, western Japan, on March 5, 2020.)
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"