As of 7:30 p.m., Wednesday, Feb. 24
- Takeda Pharmaceutical Co. said Wednesday it has started a clinical trial of a COVID-19 vaccine developed by U.S. biotechnology firm Novavax Inc. in Japan, planning to domestically produce and supply it in the second half of 2021.
- Malaysian Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin kicked off the country's largest COVID-19 immunization exercise on Wednesday by becoming the first to get the vaccine jab.
- The first batch of a Chinese-made coronavirus vaccine arrived in Thailand on Wednesday morning ahead of a vaccination rollout next week.
- Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga met with members of his Cabinet on Wednesday to discuss whether to lift the COVID-19 state of emergency ahead of its scheduled end date on March 7 for parts of Japan that have seen improvements in their situation..
- Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell said Tuesday that the U.S. economic outlook remains "highly uncertain" amid the coronavirus pandemic, although ongoing vaccinations raise hope for an improved situation later this year.
As of 11 p.m., Tuesday, Feb. 23
- Questions have been raised over a smartphone app being developed to track potential foreign visitors' whereabouts during the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics amid the coronavirus pandemic, due to its hefty cost and the amount of work left to do with five months to go.
- Japan is considering lifting the state of emergency declared in six prefectures over the coronavirus pandemic ahead of its scheduled end date on March 7, government sources said Tuesday.
- The distribution of vaccine doses against the novel coronavirus for the elderly in Japan expected to start in April will be in proportion to the population in each prefecture rather than the number of infections, a state minister said Tuesday.
- The total number of deaths from the novel coronavirus in the United States surpassed 500,000 on Monday, according to a tally by Johns Hopkins University, as efforts to contain the pandemic continue more than a year after the first infection was confirmed in the country.
- Emperor Naruhito, on the occasion of his 61st birthday on Tuesday, said he felt thankful for the "perseverance and strength of the people" in Japan in the face of the novel coronavirus pandemic and expressed appreciation for the medical professionals who have toiled through it.
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
+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"