Here are the latest updates from Japan and beyond on the coronavirus outbreak:
As of 11 p.m., Thursday, May 13
- The number of new coronavirus cases in Japan's northern main island of Hokkaido totaled 712 on Thursday, the highest level on record.
- A 42-year-old mayor in eastern Japan came under scrutiny Thursday as he was inoculated against COVID-19 ahead of the elderly, in the latest case that could raise suspicion about fair distribution amid the country's sluggish vaccine rollout.
- The governor of Chiba Prefecture said Thursday he has no plan to allocate hospital beds for Olympic athletes infected with the coronavirus, joining a growing chorus of voices calling on those involved in the Tokyo Games to be denied preferential treatment.
- Japan's travel surplus in fiscal 2020 plunged 89.2 percent from the previous year, as the number of inbound visitors nosedived due to strict international travel restrictions by nations in response to the novel coronavirus pandemic, the Finance Ministry said Thursday.
- A 62-year-old mayor in western Japan has received the first dose of the novel coronavirus vaccine although he is not eligible under current regulations in the country, which preserve the inoculations for those age 65 or older and medical workers.
- The Japanese government is aiming to complete COVID-19 vaccinations for all athletes representing the host nation at this summer's Tokyo Olympics by the end of June, sources close to the matter said Wednesday.
- The Taiwan government tightened measures against the novel coronavirus Wednesday as the island, which had contained the spread of the virus, confirmed 16 new domestically transmitted cases of COVID-19 on the day.
As of 11 p.m., Wednesday, May 12
- A system glitch caused by U.S. technology firm Salesforce.com Inc. disrupted Japan's coronavirus vaccinations Wednesday, forcing at least 11 municipalities to stop accepting reservations from the elderly.
- At least 31 municipalities have called off Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics "Host Town" programs to welcome overseas athletes for training camps and cultural exchanges before the games due to COVID-19 concerns, a government source said Wednesday.
- The government said Wednesday it will bar the entry of all travelers who have visited India, Pakistan or Nepal within the previous 14 days, except for Japanese nationals, in an effort to shield Japan from more contagious variants of the novel coronavirus.
- Japan is considering an additional payment of up to $700 million to the Covax Facility, a U.N.-backed program intended to ensure a fair supply of coronavirus vaccines in developing countries, government sources said Wednesday.
- Around 90 percent of those who received the vaccine developed by U.S. pharmaceutical giant Pfizer Inc. were found to have antibodies against the various COVID-19 variants detected in Japan, a university study showed Wednesday.
- India on Wednesday reported a record 4,205 COVID-19 deaths over a one-day period, bringing its total fatalities from coronavirus infections to 254,197, the third most in the world after the United States and Brazil.
- The number of COVID-19 patients with severe symptoms in Japan has hit a fresh record of 1,189, up 13 from the previous day, the health ministry said Wednesday, as the country extended and expanded the scope of a coronavirus emergency.
- Around 280 certified sports doctors applied for 200 spots the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympic organizing committee want to fill for this summer's games, sources close to the matter said Tuesday.
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"