As of 8 p.m., Thursday, Dec. 17
- French President Emmanuel Macron has tested positive for the novel coronavirus, the Elysee Palace said Thursday.
- Months after the coronavirus outbreak aboard the Diamond Princess cruise ship berthed in Japan cast a dark shadow on the cruise industry, some cruise lines have recently launched roundtrip cruises with no port calls dubbed "cruises to nowhere" in Singapore.
- Tokyo's daily novel coronavirus cases topped 800 for the first time on Thursday, an official said, amid growing concern over the strain on the medical system.
- A health care worker in Alaska has shown a serious allergic reaction to the coronavirus vaccine developed by U.S. pharmaceutical giant Pfizer Inc. and its German partner BioNTech SE, local authorities said Wednesday.
- Para athletes taking part in the postponed Tokyo Games have been asked to arrive at the Paralympic village no earlier than seven days before the start of their first event, the International Paralympic Committee said Wednesday.
- The price of digital currency Bitcoin topped $20,000 for the first time Wednesday as continued monetary easing by major central banks amid the coronavirus pandemic prompted investment in the cryptocurrency market.
- Japanese health authorities have found it difficult to reach a conclusion on the effectiveness of anti-viral drug Avigan in treating COVID-19 patients based on the results of clinical testing by its developer, government sources said Wednesday.
- U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo will be in quarantine after having come into contact with a person who tested positive for the novel coronavirus, a State Department spokesperson said Wednesday.
As of 11 p.m., Wednesday, Dec. 16
- Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga apologized Wednesday after facing mounting criticism for participating in two year-end dinner parties despite the government's warnings to the public to refrain from dining in large groups to prevent spreading the coronavirus.
- The estimated number of foreign visitors to Japan plunged 97.7 percent in November from a year earlier to 56,700, declining for the 14th straight month, due to the global coronavirus pandemic, government data showed Wednesday.
- The Tokyo metropolitan government reported an additional 678 coronavirus infections on Wednesday, a daily record high.
- Plummeting public support and warnings from experts about a coronavirus resurgence forced Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga to temporarily suspend the government's much-touted domestic tourism subsidy program over the New Year holidays.
- The minister in charge of Japan's response to the novel coronavirus on Wednesday defended the government's nationwide suspension of its travel subsidy program over the New Year holidays, fending off criticism that the move came too late amid a surge in infections across the country.
- Japan's exports in November fell from a year earlier for the 24th month, marking the longest streak of decline on record as the impact of the novel coronavirus pandemic on overseas demand continued, government data showed Wednesday.
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"
- Available in Simple Japanese and English, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on weekdays. Also available in Chinese, Korean, Portuguese, Spanish, Tagalog, Thai, and Vietnamese on designated weekdays. Check schedule here.
- 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"