COVID-19 INFORMATION What you need to know about the coronavirus if you are living in Japan or planning a visit.


Experts warn of health care collapse in Japan if virus keeps spreading


A Japanese government panel of experts on Wednesday warned of a health care system collapse if a sharp increase in coronavirus infections seen recently in urban areas continues, stressing the need for people in areas seeing an accelerating spread to keep outings to a minimum. In a recommendation released after… Read


Japan to give face masks to 50 mil households to fight virus


Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said Wednesday the government will distribute cloth face masks to roughly 50 million households in Japan as stocks of disposable masks have run out at drugstores and other shops amid the coronavirus outbreak. The distribution, which will start later this month, is part of the economic… Read


Japan expands ban on arrivals from 73 countries


Japan will bar visitors from the United States, China and most of Europe, the prime minister said Wednesday, as the country seeks to stem a recent rise in coronavirus cases. The entry ban, which will also apply to Australia, Britain, South Korea and many Southeast Asia countries, will take effect… Read


Girl under one year old in serious condition after virus infection


A baby girl under a year old was rushed to hospital Wednesday after her heart stopped beating, and was then found to be infected with the novel coronavirus, according to the Yamanashi prefectural government. Doctors managed to revive her but she remains in serious condition and is undergoing treatment in… Read


Tokyo extends event cancellations, facility closures to May 6


The Tokyo metropolitan government said Wednesday that the cancellation and postponement of city-run events, and closures of public facilities including zoos and museums, would remain in place until May 6, as the capital grapples with a recent surge in new coronavirus infections. The measures, which were originally scheduled to end… Read


Japan 'on the brink' as it struggles to hold back coronavirus


Japan is struggling to hold the line against the coronavirus and is on the brink of crisis with medical experts particularly worried about preparations in Tokyo, officials said on Wednesday, raising the prospect of emergency lockdowns. Japan has some 2,200 cases of the coronavirus and 66 deaths, relatively small tallies… Read


Fujifilm starts Avigan trial to treat coronavirus


Fujifilm has begun clinical trials to test the effectiveness of its anti-flu drug Avigan in treating patients with the new coronavirus, after reports of promising results in China. Trials in China have suggested Avigan could play a role in shortening the recovery time for patients infected with coronavirus. "The trial… Read


Parents get virus jitters as their child-care leave nears end


Parents in Japan who have been on child-care leave find themselves in a quandary that is only deepening as they aim to return to work this spring. Should they return to their place of work when the country is now warning of the risk of an explosion of domestic coronavirus… Read


Smoking diners to take it outside as Tokyo ban kicks in


Tokyo restaurants and bars lit up indoors for the last time on Tuesday as one of the world's most cigarette-friendly cities starts enforcing anti-smoking laws from Wednesday. Japan lags behind many countries in its efforts to reduce tobacco usage, and the ban - just in Tokyo - only applies to… Read


Tokyo records most new coronavirus cases in a day as pressure for lockdown builds


Tokyo recorded more than 70 new coronavirus infections on Tuesday for its highest tally in a single day, as pressure built on Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to order a lockdown with a minister saying Japan's containment strategy was stretched to the limit. Domestic cases topped 2,000, and public broadcaster NHK… Read

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