What is COVID-19?

According to the WHO, COVID-19 is an infectious disease caused by the recently-discovered novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) that has caused an outbreak beginning in Wuhan, China, in December 2019. It is a highly-infectious respiratory illness that can become life-threatening.

What are its symptoms?

According to the WHO and the Lancet, COVID-19 exhibits the following symptoms:

  • Fever
  • Coughing
  • Sore throat
  • Fatigue
  • Loss of smell or taste
  • Shortness of breath

What should we do if we get sick?

The Ministry of Health, Labor, and Welfare currently requests that if you suspect infection, do not go directly to a medical facility. Instead please first call the dedicated COVID-19 hotline in your prefecture.

Why call a hotline instead of going to the hospital?

Many common cold-like symptoms are caused by diseases other than COVID-19, and going to medical facilities without prior consultation with an expert increases the risk of spreading COVID-19 while placing unnecessary strain on the healthcare system. (From the Ministry of Health, Labor, and Welfare.)

Find a hotline near you

What should I do if I have a non-medical problem?

If you need help with any non-medical problems, we recommend calling one of the foreigner support centers, where you can talk to a knowledgeable volunteer in your native language.

Find a support center near you