Here are the latest updates from Japan and beyond on the coronavirus outbreak:
As of 11 p.m., Tuesday, July 28 (Japan time)
- The Osaka prefectural government decided Tuesday to request its citizens to refrain from drinking in groups of five or more people as the area has been seeing an increase in novel coronavirus infections, with nightlife entertainment districts accounting for a significant number of new cases.
- A bodyguard of Japanese Defense Minister Taro Kono has tested positive for the novel coronavirus, a Defense Ministry source said Tuesday.
- Some Japanese celebrities, including 1980s-idol-turned-actress Kyoko Koizumi, have taken to Twitter to express shock and anger following reports that the government plans to distribute an additional 80 million cloth masks, which proved to be unpopular among some members of the public, to help contain the spread of the new coronavirus.
- NEC Corp. and travel agency JTB Corp. said Tuesday they are launching a new service allowing teleworkers to book empty hotel rooms for use as remote offices, repurposing the spaces left vacant due to the coronavirus' impact on hotel occupancy rates.
- With a decrease in the number of tourists due to the new coronavirus pandemic, four elementary school students in Hokkaido got to pick lavender during school hours at a flower field which is usually busy during this season.
- U.S. biotechnology company Moderna Inc. said Monday it has started a final-stage clinical trial of a potential coronavirus vaccine that would involve 30,000 participants across the country.
As of 11 p.m., Monday, July 27 (Japan time)
- The welfare ministry decided Monday to include measures to respond to infectious diseases and natural disasters for the first time in a planned revision of Japan's basic guidelines on nursing care programs run by local authorities.
- The Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Corp. group said Monday it will take firmer measures against the coronavirus pandemic by letting 70 percent or more of its employees work from home, up from the previous target of 50 percent or more.
- The number of Tokyo's confirmed new coronavirus cases in July topped 5,000 on Monday, accounting for around 45 percent of its cumulative total after the metropolitan government reported another 131 infections.
- Hong Kong will further tighten social distancing rules as daily coronavirus cases have continued trending upward in the past weeks, the government said Monday.
- Japan's health ministry will conduct its first nationwide survey possibly next month to look into how the new coronavirus pandemic has affected mental health, according to ministry and other sources.
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 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"