Here are the latest COVID-19 updates from Japan and beyond:
As of 11 p.m., Friday, July 16
- Leaders from 21 Pacific-Rim economies, including Japan, the United States and China held informal talks online Friday over the COVID-19 pandemic and economic recovery.
- Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga said Friday he hopes the COVID-19 situation in Japan will improve enough to allow some spectators at the Tokyo Paralympics, as the Olympics are set to kick off next week behind closed doors amid a state of emergency in the capital.
- The Tokyo metropolitan government reported 1,271 new daily COVID-19 cases on Friday, topping 1,000 for the third straight day just a week before the Tokyo Olympics start.
- False claims and misinformation about vaccines on social media are undermining young people's trust in COVID-19 vaccines in Japan, imperiling the government's efforts to finish large-scale inoculations by November as it pursues herd immunity.
- Athletes known to have been in close contact with those infected with the novel coronavirus will still be allowed to compete in the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics if they test negative six hours prior to the event, sources with knowledge of the matter said
As of 11 p.m., Thursday, July 15
- The Tokyo metropolitan government reported 1,308 new coronavirus cases on Thursday, the most since Jan. 21, as health experts warned infections could surge to 2,000 a day shortly after the Olympics end in early August.
- Local governments in Japan need to slow down in administering COVID-19 vaccine to residents as supply is expected to remain limited in the coming months, the minister in charge of vaccination efforts said Thursday.
- Myanmar is struggling with a shortage of medical oxygen amid a spike in COVID-19 cases, as the country reported 7,083 new coronavirus infections over a 24-hour period on Wednesday.
- The Japanese government said Thursday it will tighten border controls for visitors from Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic and Namibia in response to the spread of the highly contagious Delta variant of the novel coronavirus.
- Japanese airlines plan to put on special flights to allow Japanese residents in Indonesia to return home amid a surge of infections of the highly contagious Delta variant of the coronavirus, the Japanese Embassy in Jakarta said.
- Tokyo Olympics organizers are considering allowing fewer than 1,000 VIPs and foreign dignitaries to attend the opening ceremony in person, reducing from the already slashed figure of 10,000 and keeping the public out, sources with knowledge of the matter said Thursday.
- China's economy grew 7.9 percent from a year earlier during the April-June period, marking the fifth straight quarter of expansion, official data showed Thursday, underscoring that the Asian power has steadily overcome the coronavirus shock.