The number of people infected with the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) in Japan continues to grow, not only in the quarantined Diamond Princess cruise ship docked in Yokohama, but also in Tokyo and other areas.

Members of the general public are naturally concerned about ways in which they can protect themselves, and the police is issuing useful information such as how to dispose of surgical masks safely.

The Japanese Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare updated their COVID-19 information page today and announced "criteria for consulting a doctor or receiving a medical examination" (相談・受診の目安) which they hope will serve as a guideline for people to determine when they should seek medical help with regards to COVID-19.

Individuals with the symptoms below should call their closest Consultation Center for Returnees and Contactees (in other words, those who have recently returned from abroad or were in contact with the virus) (帰国者・接触者相談センター) [abbreviated as CCRC below]:

  • You have cold-like symptoms or a fever of 37.5 C (99.5 F) which have been continuing for four days or more (including times when you were taking fever-reducing medicine)
  • You feel very weary or have difficulty breathing

For those who are elderly or have an underlying disease, if any of the abovementioned symptoms continue for two days or more.

When you call the CCRC, and if it is suspected that you are infected with COVID-19, you will be referred to a health professional. Please wear a surgical mask and avoid public transportation when visiting the doctor.

CCRC offices are set up in all prefectures and cities of Japan. For details, please visit the following page.

Note: the information above is translated from the original Japanese. Please see the information below for non-Japanese speakers.

According to The Sankei News, Minister of Health, Labour and Welfare Katsunobu Katō held a press conference today in which he said: "If you have cold-like symptoms such as a fever, please take time off school or work, take your temperature every day and track the results."

Links for non-Japanese speakers

For those who do not speak Japanese, please consult the following website operated by the Japan National Tourism Organisation "Guide for when you are feeling ill." For JNTO's latest updates on COVID-19, please see their page here.

By - grape Japan editorial staff.