As of 11 p.m., Wednesday, April 21
- A health ministry panel on Wednesday approved rheumatoid arthritis drug baricitinib for COVID-19 treatment, the third such case in Japan.
- North Korea still claims no infection cases with the novel coronavirus have been confirmed at home although it has so far carried out tests on around 24,000 people, according to a recent report released by the World Health Organization.
- Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga has called off a planned visit to India and the Philippines, apparently due to a resurgence of coronavirus infections in Japan, government sources said Wednesday.
- The government plans to impose a fresh coronavirus state of emergency in Tokyo, Osaka and Hyogo prefectures soon as a surge in severe cases chokes the areas' health care systems, according to government sources.
- Japan expects to receive 50 million additional doses of the Pfizer Inc. COVID-19 vaccine after Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga called on the pharmaceutical firm to boost supplies, government sources said Wednesday.
- The organizing committee of this summer's Tokyo Olympics is considering delaying until June its decision on how many spectators will be allowed to enter games venues, due to a resurgence of coronavirus infections in many parts of Japan, an official with knowledge of the schedule said Wednesday.
- More people in Japan are getting their boating licenses, as the coronavirus pandemic has fueled interest in outdoor activities and increasingly lured them to marine leisure, a licensing organization recently said.
- The Tokyo Games organizers are set to hold an athletics test event on May 9 without spectators due to the rising number of coronavirus infections in the capital, sources close to the matter said Tuesday.
- Athletes participating in the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics will be tested for the novel coronavirus on a daily basis, predominantly through saliva-based tests, in an effort to detect potential infections at an early stage, officials with knowledge of the planning said Tuesday.
As of 11 p.m., Tuesday, April 20
- Osaka Prefecture has asked the central government Tuesday to declare another state of emergency covering the area due to the huge strain on its medical system caused by a surge of severe COVID-19 patients, officials said.