Here are the latest COVID-19 updates from Japan and beyond:
As of 11:40 p.m., Saturday, Aug. 7
- At least five people were injured as Thai protesters clashed with police in Bangkok on Saturday as they demanded the resignation of Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha over his handling of the COVID-19 response, according to reports by local media.
- Japan's daily COVID-19 cases set a record high of 15,753 for the fourth straight day Saturday, while the number of people hospitalized in Tokyo broke the previous record set in January, as the pandemic appears to show no signs of abating amid the spread of the highly contagious Delta variant.
- Singapore will ease restrictions from Tuesday on dining and gathering for people who received two doses of the coronavirus vaccine, the government has said.
- The Tokyo Olympics have proven that it is possible to "keep the pandemic at bay" and lessons learned from the games held under unusual settings will be shared with the world, a leading health adviser to the sporting event said Saturday.
- Japan has begun a study on whether it should administer third shots of the coronavirus vaccine next year, officials said Friday.
- Another 22 people associated with the ongoing Tokyo Olympics have tested positive for COVID-19, the games' organizing body said Saturday, with the cumulative total reaching 404 since the start of July.
As of 11 p.m., Friday, Aug. 6
- Thailand is struggling with a shortage of hospital beds amid an unabated wave of coronavirus infections, forcing the government to hastily set up temporary facilities to admit COVID-19 patients.
- Japan's cumulative total of confirmed coronavirus cases topped 1 million on Friday as the highly contagious Delta variant continues to spread in many parts of the country.
- Japanese pharmaceutical firm Shionogi & Co. plans to seek state approval for its oral coronavirus drug by the end of this year, in the hope of offering at-home treatment and easing strains on hospitals, company sources said Friday.
- U.S. biotechnology firm Moderna Inc. said Thursday its coronavirus vaccine maintained 93 percent efficacy through six months after the second shot, but pointed to the likelihood of the need for a third booster shot in the fall.
- Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga said Friday the COVID-19 situation will be considered when a five-party meeting involving organizers and his government decide whether to hold the Paralympics with or without spectators.
- Another 29 people associated with the ongoing Tokyo Olympics have tested positive for COVID-19, the games' organizing body said Friday, lifting the total since the start of July to 382.
- The U.S. ambassador to the United Nations on Thursday said Japan should be "proud" of having overcome "great adversity" to stage the Tokyo Olympics amid the coronavirus pandemic in remarks ahead of her arrival to attend the games' closing ceremony later in the week.
- In the annual ceremony, which was scaled down once again this year amid surging coronavirus infections across Japan, Hiroshima Mayor Kazumi Matsui called on world leaders to support a U.N. treaty to ban nuclear weapons that came into effect this January.
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"