As of 11 p.m., Saturday, Jan. 23
- Hong Kong on Saturday ordered a populated area to be locked down, the first time such a measure has been taken in the pandemic-hit territory, following a surge in coronavirus cases in recent days.
- Eighty percent, or 38, of Japan's 47 prefectural capitals have raised concerns about whether they have enough doctors and nurses to vaccinate residents against the novel coronavirus as the nation prepares to start vaccinating the population in late February, according to a Kyodo News survey released Saturday.
- The death toll from the novel coronavirus in Japan surpassed 5,000 on Saturday as the country struggles to curb a third wave of infections, health authorities said.
- A four-day workweek has increasingly been embraced by businesses inside and outside Japan during the novel coronavirus pandemic.
- A private high school in northeastern Japan canceled its entrance exams a day before they were due to be held as "a preventive measure" as it was awaiting the results of coronavirus tests taken by several of its students, which later turned out to be negative, the school said Saturday.
- International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach, who previously said spectator numbers could be reduced to a "reasonable" level at the Tokyo Games, on Friday touched on the possibility of not having spectators at all.
- Saturday marked one year since a drastic lockdown was imposed on Wuhan, the original epicenter of the novel coronavirus, with the number of new symptomatic patients almost leveling off in the central Chinese city.
- The World Health Organization said Friday it has signed a purchase agreement for up to 40 million doses of the coronavirus vaccine developed by U.S. pharmaceutical giant Pfizer Inc. as part of its initiative to provide global equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines.
- The Tokyo Olympic organizers are considering staging this year's Olympic torch relay away from public roads if a state of emergency is in effect where it is being run, a source with knowledge of the matter said Friday.
As of 11 p.m., Friday, Jan. 22
- The Japanese government has started weighing the possibility of staging this summer's Tokyo Olympics without spectators to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus, several officials said Friday.
- A woman in her 30s infected with the novel coronavirus committed suicide earlier this month while self-isolating at her home in Tokyo, local officials said Friday, at a time when many hospitals are overloaded with COVID-19 patients and thousands of infected Tokyoites remain on hospital waiting lists.
- The number of suicides in Japan rose 3.7 percent in 2020 from the previous year to 20,919, up for the first time in 11 years, with the number of cases involving women and young people showing a marked increase amid the coronavirus pandemic, police data showed Friday.
- President Joe Biden on Thursday beefed up the country's response to the coronavirus pandemic, requiring mask-wearing in airports and on some forms of public transport as well as quarantine for arriving international air travelers.
- Japan's core consumer prices dropped 1.0 percent in December from a year earlier, the steepest fall in over 10 years, due largely to lower energy prices and the government's travel subsidy campaign amid the coronavirus pandemic, official data showed Friday.
- The Cabinet approved Friday bills to penalize people who do not comply with antivirus measures as Japan struggles to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus.