Here are the latest updates from Japan and beyond on the coronavirus outbreak:

A plum blossom festival is held at the Kitano Tenmangu Shrine in Kyoto, western Japan, on Feb. 25, 2021, with participants wearing face masks amid the coronavirus pandemic. (Kyodo) ==Kyodo

As of 11 p.m., Friday, Feb. 26

As of 11 p.m., Thursday, Feb. 25

  • Japan Airlines Co. said Thursday it will slash its hiring of new graduates in fiscal 2022 by 90 percent from the number that joined JAL group companies last spring, as the coronavirus pandemic is expected to continue putting pressure on travel demand.

  • The Tokyo Olympic organizing committee on Thursday released a set of coronavirus countermeasures for the torch relay, just a month before the start of the nationwide event, ranging from asking fans to applaud instead of shouting along the route to requiring runners to monitor their health.

  • Golf has surged in its popularity in Japan amid the coronavirus pandemic as a sport that can be enjoyed in the great outdoors, avoiding the "3Cs" of confined spaces, crowded places, and close-contact settings people should avoid to reduce the risk of infection.

  • The administration of U.S. President Joe Biden said Wednesday it will deliver more than 25 million free masks to communities still lacking affordable access to the basic protection against the coronavirus pandemic.

  • Japan's Olympics minister said Wednesday that coronavirus vaccinations would not be a prerequisite for participation at this summer's Olympics and Paralympics, despite a World Anti-Doping Agency appeal that athletes be inoculated.

A tea ceremony is held at the Kitano Tenmangu Shrine in Kyoto, western Japan, on Feb. 25, 2021, with two women wearing face masks amid the coronavirus pandemic. (Kyodo) ==Kyodo

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 10 p.m. (including weekends and holidays)
    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
    (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"