Here are the latest COVID-19 updates from Japan and beyond:
<July 30, 2022>
- Japan is considering altering COVID-19 measures, including a potential change in the collection of infection numbers, in a bid to lessen the burden on hospitals as they strain under a resurgence of the coronavirus across the country, government sources said Saturday.
- North Korea on Saturday reported there were no new fever cases, with the figure hitting zero for the first time since the country confirmed its first coronavirus case on May 12, according to the official Korean Central News Agency.
<July 29, 2022>
- Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said Friday that the government still has no plans to impose COVID-19 restrictions on people's movements despite recent record infections caused by the highly transmissible BA.5 Omicron subvariant.
- The Japanese government said it will enable local governments to issue declarations urging precautionary steps against the spread of the highly transmissible BA.5 Omicron subvariant of the coronavirus, particularly by the most vulnerable.
<July 28, 2022>
- Japan reported 233,100 daily coronavirus cases on Thursday, hitting a new record for the second consecutive day, raising concern about the strain on the medical system as the number of available designated hospital beds continues to decline.
- China decided Thursday to maintain its strict "zero-COVID" policy for the second half of 2022 as leaders pledged efforts to achieve the best possible results for the world's second-largest economy, state-run media reported.
- Japan had the world's highest number of new coronavirus cases in the week to July 24 with more than 969,000, the World Health Organization said Wednesday.
- U.S. President Joe Biden said Wednesday he is returning to work in person after recovering from COVID-19, less than a week after the 79-year-old was found to have been infected with the virus.
<July 27, 2022>
- Japan's daily coronavirus cases surpassed 209,000 for the first time on Wednesday as the country continues to struggle with a seventh wave of infections driven by the highly transmissible BA.5 Omicron subvariant.
- A lawyer for a suspect in police custody in Nagoya has asked for the man's temporary release, claiming his continued detention and denial of treatment after being infected with the coronavirus constitutes a "human rights violation."
<July 26, 2022>
- The J-League announced a record-equaling 20 million yen ($146,000) fine for Urawa Reds on Tuesday after supporters of the first-division club were found to have repeatedly breached safety guidelines aimed at curbing the spread of the coronavirus.
- Japan's western prefecture of Osaka is set to raise its coronavirus alert to the highest of three levels, officials familiar with the plan said Tuesday, as the area's daily infection count hit a record 25,762 amid a fresh wave of COVID-19.
- The Japanese government on Tuesday upgraded its key economic assessment for the first time in three months, reflecting a recovery in personal consumption as economic activities continue to return to normal from coronavirus restrictions.
- A Japanese health ministry panel has awarded for the first time a lump sum compensation payment to the family of an elderly woman who died after suffering an allergic response and sudden heart attack related to a COVID-19 vaccination.
- U.S. President Joe Biden's COVID-19 symptoms have "almost completely resolved," his physician said Monday, signaling continuing improvement in the 79-year-old's health condition since he tested positive Thursday.
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)