Here are the latest COVID-19 updates from Japan and beyond:
As of 11:40 p.m., Wednesday, July 21
- The Japanese government said Wednesday it will tighten border controls for visitors from some countries, including Myanmar and Iran, to prevent the spread of highly contagious new variants of the coronavirus.
- Tokyo Olympic competition began after a one-year coronavirus postponement Wednesday, the first pitch of a softball game between Japan and Australia in Fukushima marking the start of a games that almost did not happen.
- Five countries including Italy and Turkey have agreed to ease COVID-19 quarantine rules for travelers who have vaccine passports issued by Japan from next week, the Foreign Ministry said Wednesday.
- The Tokyo metropolitan government on Wednesday reported 1,832 new COVID-19 cases, marking the highest daily figure since mid-January, as a resurgence of infections continues to fuel concerns ahead of the Olympics set to formally open on Friday.
- Health experts warned Wednesday of a possible "critical" coronavirus situation in Tokyo, as they estimated infections could surge even further in early August during the Tokyo Olympics.
- Chile's Olympic committee said Wednesday a taekwondo athlete will withdraw from the Tokyo Olympics after testing positive for the coronavirus, in the first known case of an athlete pulling out of the games after arriving in Japan.
- The head of the World Health Organization said Wednesday it is not possible to reduce the risk of coronavirus to zero at the Tokyo Olympics, which will open later this week, and the success of the games should be judged by how well cases of infection are handled.
- The total number of COVID-19 deaths in India could be higher than 4 million, which is 10 times more than the government's official count, according to a U.S. research institute.
As of 11 p.m., Tuesday, July 20
- Japanese Emperor Naruhito may avoid using the word "celebrate" or similar term when he is expected to declare the opening of the Tokyo Olympics this week, a government official said Tuesday.
- Japan has begun surveying overseas arrivals about their COVID-19 vaccination status as it explores the feasibility of exempting those vaccinated abroad from the country's strict entry restrictions, government sources said Tuesday.
- Nyan Win, a prominent member of Myanmar's formerly ruling National League for Democracy party and a close aide of ousted civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi, died of COVID-19 on Tuesday while under detention in the wake of the Feb. 1 military coup, the NLD said.
- The Tokyo metropolitan government reported 1,387 new coronavirus cases Tuesday, topping the 1,000 mark for the first time in two days, as the upward trend in infections continues to stir concerns ahead of the start of the Olympics later this week.
- Organizers of the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics said Tuesday that a foreign athlete at the athletes' village and eight other people related to the games have newly tested positive for the coronavirus.