Here are the latest COVID-19 updates from Japan and beyond:
As of 11 p.m., Monday, Nov. 29
- Health ministers from the Group of Seven industrialized nations agreed in an emergency meeting Monday to work together in dealing with a new coronavirus variant spreading in Europe and elsewhere, Japan's representative said.
- Hong Kong has recorded its third case of a heavily mutated coronavirus strain discovered in southern Africa, health officials said Monday, amid international concerns that the new variant could drive a new wave of transmissions.
- Singapore and Malaysia on Monday reopened their land border after a year and eight months since it had been closed down due to the COVID-19 pandemic that started early last year.
Japan will close its borders to new entries by foreigners amid concern over the new Omicron variant of the novel coronavirus, Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said Monday as he vowed to move quickly to "avoid the worst-case scenario."
As of 10 p.m., Sunday, Nov. 28
- Japanese ski jumper Ryoyu Kobayashi has tested positive for coronavirus, he revealed on his Twitter account Sunday, a day after becoming the first Japanese man to win 20 ski jumping World Cup competitions with a victory in Ruka, Finland.
- Australia confirmed its first cases of the Omicron coronavirus variant Sunday as the state of New South Wales reported two cases of the new COVID-19 strain detected in South Africa.
- A new COVID-19 strain detected in South Africa is spreading in Europe as the first cases of the highly infectious variant were confirmed Saturday in Britain, Germany and Italy, prompting many countries inside and outside the region to tighten border controls.
- Uniforms for about 28,000 volunteers at the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics in the summer remain unused, a recent Kyodo News survey found, after many pulled out over scheduling conflicts due to the one-year postponement of the games and fears over the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Over 60 percent of respondents to a recent online survey in Japan said they believe work-related get-togethers for drinking are "unnecessary," as the COVID-19 pandemic has reduced reliance on alcohol to deepen relationships.
Useful resources for foreign residents and visitors in Japan
- Health ministry call center
COVID-19: 0120-565-653 (toll free)
COVID-19 Vaccines: 0120-761-770 (toll free)
-Interpreters available for English, Chinese, Korean, Portuguese and Spanish 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.; for Thai 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.; for Vietnamese 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.
- Health ministry's COVID-19 Vaccine Navigation website
- 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)