Here are the latest updates from Japan and beyond on the coronavirus outbreak:
As of 11 p.m., Friday, July 9
- Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga may have been counting on the Tokyo Olympics to buoy public sentiment before calling a general election this year, but the games could turn into his biggest liability with the recent surge in COVID-19 cases.
- Australia said Friday it will conduct a home quarantine trial for fully vaccinated travelers returning from overseas, a move that would alleviate strain on the country's hotel quarantine system.
- South Korea reported 1,316 daily coronavirus cases Friday, hitting a record high for a second day and over 1,000 cases for the third day in a row.
- The finance chiefs of the Group of 20 major economies will start their two-day meeting in Italy on Friday, with talks likely to focus on efforts to address an increasingly uneven economic recovery from the coronavirus pandemic and international taxation reform.
- Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga pledged Friday to work toward a safe and secure Tokyo Olympics later this month after organizers said the global sporting event will be held mostly without spectators amid a resurgence in COVID-19 infections.
- The Tokyo segment of the Olympic torch relay started with a small-scale ceremony on Friday, a day after organizers decided to stage the games without spectators at almost all venues due to a surge in coronavirus infections.
- The U.S. government is still considering whether first lady Jill Biden will attend the Tokyo Olympics, White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki said Thursday as Japan decided to ban spectators from venues in the capital area due to coronavirus outbreaks just weeks ahead of the opening ceremony.
As of 11:20 p.m., Thursday, July 8
- Restaurant and tour operators in Tokyo hoping for a pickup in business over the summer were left reeling Thursday after the Japanese government decided to declare a fourth coronavirus state of emergency in the capital.
- Japan's latest coronavirus state of emergency covering Tokyo, declared by the government Thursday, could cost the economy around 1 trillion yen ($9.1 billion), according to economists' estimates.
- Taiwan will extend its coronavirus-induced restrictions for another two weeks though with some relaxations, authorities said on Thursday.
- The Tokyo Olympics will be held without spectators at venues in the Japanese capital due to a spike in coronavirus infections, Olympic minister Tamayo Marukawa said Thursday after organizers made the unprecedented decision just two weeks ahead of the opening of the global sporting event.
- South Korea reported a record 1,275 daily coronavirus infections on Thursday amid a new wave of COVID-19 cases, eclipsing the previous daily high of 1,240 set back in December.
- Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga's government decided Thursday to place Tokyo under another COVID-19 state of emergency until Aug. 22, covering the duration of the Olympics, in an effort to curb a recent surge in infections.
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"