Here are the latest COVID-19 updates from Japan and beyond:
As of 11 p.m., Tuesday, Nov. 30
- South Korea on Tuesday resumed tours of the Panmunjeom border village inside the demilitarized zone separating the two Koreas, after they were suspended in early July due to the coronavirus pandemic.
- Japan has confirmed the first case in the country of infection by the Omicron variant of the novel coronavirus, believed to be highly contagious, a government source said Tuesday.
- Tokyo stocks fell for the third straight session Tuesday, with the Nikkei index ending at an almost two-month low, on renewed concern over the effectiveness of existing vaccines for the Omicron variant of the coronavirus.
- Japanese pharmaceutical firm Shionogi & Co. is considering developing a vaccine for the new Omicron variant of the novel coronavirus, one of its officials said Tuesday.
- Australia said late Monday it will delay the reopening of its international border by two weeks until Dec. 15 as authorities assess the risk of the Omicron variant of the coronavirus.
- Japan's shortage of health care workers is impacting families of hospitalized children, with a recent survey showing approximately 85 percent of affected parents are forced to regularly care full-time for their kids despite paying patient fees.
- The United States on Monday implemented a ban on the entry of foreign travelers from eight countries in southern Africa amid growing concerns over a new variant of the coronavirus that was initially detected in South Africa.
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."
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)