Here are the latest COVID-19 updates from Japan and beyond:
As of 11 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 4
- Local governments in Japan are scurrying to set up temporary treatment sites for COVID-19 patients as the recent surge in infections has caused a serious shortage of hospital beds across the country, with 25 governments having already opened or are planning to open such facilities, a Kyodo News survey found Saturday.
- Philippine Airlines Inc. has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in the United States after prolonged travel restrictions due to the coronavirus pandemic caused a sharp fall in air travel demand.
- Another 10 people associated with the ongoing Tokyo Paralympics have tested positive for COVID-19, the games' organizing body said Saturday, with the cumulative total reaching nearly 300 in three weeks.
- The Singapore government said Friday it will start giving a booster vaccine shot to people aged 60 and older as well as immunocompromised people this month to better protect them against the coronavirus.
- Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga's sudden announcement of his intention to resign at a time when the country is battling a resurgence of COVID-19 infections was met Friday with surprise and criticism by many people in Japan, with medical workers lamenting his slow and inadequate response to fight the virus.
As of 11 p.m., Friday, Sept. 3
- Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga expressed his intention to resign Friday amid mounting criticism over his response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
- The Japanese government plans to allow restaurants to serve alcohol even in areas under a COVID-19 emergency if sufficient steps are taken to prevent infections, according to a draft plan for restarting economic and social activities, government sources said Friday.
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"