Here are the latest updates from Japan and beyond on the coronavirus outbreak:
As of 11:00 p.m., Friday, May 8 (Japan time)
- The government said Friday that only households in Tokyo have so far received cloth face masks under its distribution plan but delivery to other parts of Japan will be completed by the end of May, when the extended state of emergency declared over the novel coronavirus ends.
- Japan's ruling parties on Friday finalized a plan to cover part of the monthly rent of small and midsize businesses struggling under the economic impact of the new coronavirus.
- Of Japan's 47 prefectures, 27 have decided to relax stay-at-home requests issued in response to the spread of the novel coronavirus, a senior government official said Friday.
- The organizer of the Tokyo Game Show said Friday it will consider holding this year's event online due to the ongoing spread of the novel coronavirus.
- The Australian government on Friday announced a three-step plan to gradually ease coronavirus restrictions, with the aim of completely reopening the economy by July.
- South Korea reported the discovery of a cluster of novel coronavirus infections in Seoul on Friday, just days after the government relaxed its social distancing guidelines.
- Some experts in Japan fear that prolonged school closures due to the spread of the new coronavirus are turning children stuck at home into internet and video game addicts, with a study showing that many are already spending more time glued to their smartphones and other devices.
- As Japan seeks to expand its capacity for polymerase chain reaction tests for the novel coronavirus, a Fujifilm Corp. subsidiary on Friday started selling a chemical that will allow for faster checks than existing methods.
- The Japanese government on Friday began issuing up to 2 million yen ($19,000) in cash benefits to small and midsize companies whose income has at least halved due to the outbreak of the novel coronavirus.
- Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and U.S. President Donald Trump agreed Friday to cooperate over their countries' coronavirus response and development of treatment drugs and vaccines, a top Japanese official said.
- The Japanese government and ruling parties are considering drafting a second extra budget for fiscal 2020 to further help small and medium-sized businesses and people affected by the impact of the coronavirus pandemic, sources close to the matter said Thursday.
- Yukio Okamoto, a diplomacy analyst who had been an adviser to past Japanese prime ministers, died on April 24 after contracting the novel coronavirus, a government source said Thursday. He was 74.
- The German Bundesliga, where a number of Japanese soccer players ply their trade, will resume behind closed doors on May 16 for the first time since the new coronavirus pandemic put the soccer season on hold in March, the German Football League said Thursday.
- The Japanese government approved Thursday the use of the anti-viral drug remdesivir for novel coronavirus patients in an expedited review as Japan, like other countries, scrambles to contain COVID-19 with the death toll gradually rising.
Useful resources for foreign residents and visitors in Japan
- Tokyo Metropolitan Government's "Tokyo Coronavirus Support Center for Foreign Residents (TOCOS)" multilingual hotline
- Available in Simple Japanese, English, Chinese, Korean, Vietnamese, Nepali, Indonesian, Tagalog, Thai, Portuguese, Spanish, French, Khmer, and Burmese, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekdays except national holidays.
0120-296-004 (toll free)
- AMDA Medical Information Center's "Multilingual Consultation Service Regarding COVID-19"
(April 10~May 20, 2020)
- Available in English, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekdays, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on weekends and national holidays. Also available in Chinese, Korean, Tagalog, Thai, Spanish, Vietnamese and Portuguese on designated weekdays. Check schedule here.
- Available in English and Chinese on weekdays only, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
- Tokyo Metropolitan Government's COVID-19 info
- 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 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"