Here are the latest COVID-19 updates from Japan and beyond:
As of 11 p.m., Thursday, Feb. 3
- Tokyo unveiled on Thursday a set of new benchmarks in considering requesting a COVID-19 state of emergency, such as if the rate of hospital bed occupancy secured for patients with serious symptoms has reached a threshold of 30 to 40 percent.
- Japan's daily COVID-19 cases exceeded 100,000 for the first time on Thursday as the country struggles to contain a sixth wave of infections, driven by the Omicron variant of the coronavirus.
- The first Japanese Beijing Olympian to test positive for the coronavirus has headed back to the athletes' village from the isolation facility after twice testing negative, the Japanese Olympic Committee said Thursday.
- With the Beijing Winter Olympics set to open Friday, athletes and media from around the world have converged on the Chinese capital under coronavirus control measures unprecedented for a major international sporting event.
- A government panel on Thursday approved placing Wakayama Prefecture in western Japan under a COVID-19 quasi-state of emergency, raising the number of areas subject to the measure to 35 of the country's 47 prefectures amid surging infections.
- A record 2,170 cases of child abuse were investigated last year in Japan, up 1.7 percent from the previous year, as the coronavirus pandemic continued to reduce opportunities for welfare workers to intervene, a police report showed Thursday.
- New Zealand will allow returning citizens to self-isolate rather than enter quarantine facilities from late February, while international tourists will be welcomed back starting in July at the latest, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said Thursday as the nation looks to scale back its pandemic border restrictions.
As of 11 p.m., Wednesday, Feb. 2
- Japan confirmed a record 94,908 coronavirus cases Wednesday, eclipsing the previous record logged late last week by nearly 10,000 and exceeding the 90,000 mark for the first time, as the highly transmissible Omicron variant continues to wreak havoc across the country.
- The Japanese Olympic Committee on Wednesday announced the first positive coronavirus case among Japanese athletes attending the Beijing Games.
- Tokyo confirmed a record 21,576 daily coronavirus cases Wednesday, exceeding the 20,000 mark for the first time as the highly transmissible Omicron variant continues to wreak havoc across Japan.
- The Beijing Olympic torch relay kicked off in a modest manner in the center of the capital on Wednesday amid lingering concern over the COVID-19 pandemic, just two days before the opening of the global sporting event.
- Tonga will enter a nationwide lockdown from Wednesday evening after two cases of the coronavirus in its first community infections were detected at the capital's port, where international aid has been pouring in following last month's devastating volcanic eruption and tsunami.
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)