Here are the latest COVID-19 updates from Japan and beyond:
<July 21, 2022>
- U.S. President Joe Biden tested positive for the novel coronavirus on Thursday and is experiencing "very mild symptoms," the White House said.
- Japan's daily COVID-19 cases exceeded 180,000 on Thursday, setting a record for the second straight day, according to a Kyodo News tally, as all-time-high numbers were reported in 35 of the country's 47 prefectures amid the nation's seventh wave of infections.
- Three anti-coronavirus drugs prescribed in Japan, including molnupiravir, may be effective against the Omicron subvariant BA.5, according to a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine on Thursday.
- Tokyo reported a record number of daily coronavirus cases of over 30,000 on Thursday, far exceeding the previous record logged in early February of 21,562.
- Entering the third summer in the shadows of COVID-19, gyms across Japan are coming face to face with a mask dilemma as they juggle ideas to prevent the spread of infection while worrying about severe summer heat.
<July 20, 2022>
- Japan's daily COVID-19 cases on Wednesday topped 150,000, setting a new record high, according to a Kyodo News tally, as the country grapples with its seventh wave of coronavirus infections spurred by the highly transmissible BA.5 Omicron subvariant.
- The number of foreign visitors to Japan in June exceeded 100,000 for the third consecutive month following the easing of border control measures, preliminary government data showed Wednesday.
- A Japanese health ministry panel on Wednesday postponed a decision to approve the use of an oral COVID-19 drug developed by Shionogi & Co., the second time for the decision to be delayed following a meeting last month.
- All wrestlers from the Sadogatake and Tamanoi stables have withdrawn from the ongoing Nagoya Grand Sumo Tournament for coronavirus-related reasons, the Japan Sumo Association said Wednesday.
<July 18, 2022>
- Marathon runner Hitomi Niiya has become the 11th member of the Japanese team at the World Athletics Championships to test positive for the coronavirus, the Japan Association of Athletics Federations said Sunday.
<July 17, 2022>
- The Japanese government currently has no plans to impose restrictions amid the seventh wave of coronavirus infections, but it remains to be seen whether the medical system will be able to endure the cost of this decision.
<July 16, 2022>
- Japan's daily COVID-19 cases on Saturday topped 107,000, setting a new record, as the country grapples with a seventh wave of coronavirus infections amid a rebound driven by the highly transmissible BA.5 Omicron subvariant.
- Demotion-threatened ozeki Mitakeumi was forced to pull out of the Nagoya Grand Sumo Tournament on Saturday after a positive COVID-19 case was reported at his Dewanoumi stable.
<July 15, 2022>
- Japan's daily COVID-19 cases topped 100,000 on Friday for the first time since early February, doubling from a week earlier, as the country enters a seventh wave of infections spurred by the highly transmissible BA.5 Omicron subvariant.
- China's economy grew 0.4 percent from a year earlier during the April-June period, but the pace of expansion slowed against a backdrop of a prolonged lockdown in Shanghai, official data showed Friday.
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)