Here are the latest updates from Japan and beyond on the coronavirus outbreak:
As of 11 p.m., Saturday, May 15
- Taiwan's government raised the novel coronavirus alert level in Taipei and New Taipei in the north Saturday as the island confirmed 185 new COVID-19 cases Friday.
- Dining establishments, wholesalers and tourism operators in areas set to come under tougher COVID-19 restrictions reacted with a mixture of resignation and hope that the measures will speed up a return to normality.
As of 11 p.m., Friday, May 14
- Japan has signed a contract with U.S. pharmaceutical giant Pfizer Inc. to receive additional doses of its coronavirus vaccine for 25 million people by September, health minister Norihisa Tamura said Friday.
- Singapore said Friday it will tighten coronavirus restrictions again from Sunday amid an increase in locally transmitted cases, including a ban on dining-in at restaurants and gatherings of more than two.
- A Japanese lawyer who launched a popular online petition calling for the cancelation of this summer's Olympics on Friday urged the Tokyo metropolitan government to call off the games, saying protecting people's lives from the coronavirus must be the top priority.
- U.S. health authorities said Thursday that people who have been fully vaccinated against the novel coronavirus basically no longer need to wear a mask or physically distance.
- The Japanese government decided Friday to extend the country's COVID-19 state of emergency to three more prefectures, a surprise move that comes as infections continue to surge ahead of this summer's Tokyo Olympics.
- The Tokyo Organizing Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games will reduce the number of visiting officials to this summer's games to 90,000 or fewer as part of its simplification efforts, the committee's CEO said Thursday.
- The Japanese government plans to impose tougher restrictions under a quasi-state of emergency in five more prefectures amid growing calls for quicker response to an increasing number of infections caused by highly contagious variants of the coronavirus, sources familiar with the matter said Thursday.
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"