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Preventing COVID-19 (novel coronavirus) and stopping its spread

Preventing COVID-19 (novel coronavirus) and stopping its spread

COVID-19 is an infectious disease caused by a coronavirus called SARS-CoV-2. It mainly causes symptoms such as fever and/or cough. In general, it is spread through droplet and contact transmission. It has been pointed out that it may spread before symptoms appear. It is therefore important to habitually follow the general strategies for preventing infectious diseases, such as social distancing and wearing a mask when in public.

What should I do in my everyday life?

In particular, keep the following in mind.

  • Refrain from going out

  • Wash your hands

  • Follow cough etiquette

  • Ensure ventilation

  • Avoid closed spaces

  • Avoid crowded places

  • Avoid close-contact settings

The basic strategies for preventing infectious diseases, including COVID-19, are hand washing and cough etiquette, which includes wearing a mask. The main commonalities of outbreaks are: (1) poor ventilation, (2) a space where people spend time gathered closely together, and (3) a place where unspecified large numbers of people are likely to come into contact with each other. These are the three Cs (Closed spaces, Crowded places, and Close-contact settings). Avoid gathering in groups in spaces where ventilation is poor and people spend time close together. Aim to completely avoid the three Cs.

Use the COVID-19 Contact-Confirming Application (COCOA) to learn the possibility that you have had contact with someone who has tested positive.

COCOA is an app for checking contact with COVID-19. With user consent, the app uses your smartphone’s short-range communication function (Bluetooth) and will notify you of potential contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 while ensuring each user’s privacy. Users can receive support, such as testing from a public health center, sooner, by knowing that they might have been in contact with someone who has tested positive. The more users, the more effective it will be in preventing the spread of infection. Search for “COVID COCOA” in the App Store or Google Play and install the app today.

If you have cold symptoms such as fever, do not go to school or work, refrain from going out, and measure and record your body temperature every day.

Can I receive help about COVID-19 in my own language?

Contact an appropriate call center according to the purpose of your inquiry, location, and languages available.

Foreign visitors to Japan: Japan Visitor Hotline (Foreign Language Call Center) 050-3816-2787 (Japanese, English, Chinese, and Korean) operated by the Japan National Tourism Organization (JNTO)

Call Center


(JP, EN, CH, KR)

You can also check the latest information at the following website (easy Japanese, English, and simplified Chinese only).

What should I do if I think I might have COVID-19?

Do not go to a medical institution right away; contact a COVID-19 Consultation Center (the name may vary depending on the region) first.

*A doctor will determine if you need to be tested or not.

  • At the very least, please contact Call center in any of the following situations.

    • You have a severe symptoms such as breathing difficulty, intense tiredness (fatigue), or high fever: Symptoms vary from person to person. If you feel the symptoms are severe, contact Call center immediately.

    • If you are at high risk of becoming severely ill* and have relatively mild cold symptoms, such as fever and cough

    • Elderly

    • People with underlying conditions such as diabetes, heart failure, or respiratory diseases (COPD, etc.)

    • People on dialysis

    • People taking immunosuppressive agents or anti-cancer drugs

  • Other than the above, people have been having relatively mild cold symptoms, such as fever and cough, that are persistent: Symptoms vary from person to person. If you feel the symptoms are severe, contact Call center immediately. Please be sure to contact Call center if symptoms last for four or more days. The same applies to people who have to keep taking medicine for fever.

  • Just in case, pregnant women, the same as people who are susceptible to severe illness, should contact a COVID-19 Consultation Center or another organization. For children, it is advisable to see a pediatrician, and so please consult with a COVID-19 Consultation Center or your pediatric medical institution by telephone or other means.

In addition to COVID-19 Consultation Center, consultations may be accepted by medical institutions and clinics in some areas.
If you have received instructions from a local government, a public health center, or a quarantine station, please follow those instructions.

What happens after I speak with a COVID-19 Consultation Center or another organization?

The general flow is as follows. This may vary from region to region.

If a center determines that someone could have COVID-19 based on the content of the consultation, it will arrange a visit to a medical institution or a test center so that the person receives an appropriate examination. A list of webpages showing the COVID-19 Consultation Center published by each prefecture and the Multilingual Call Centers has been put together. Please contact the nearest center when calling for a consultation.

What should I be careful about if I end up going to a medical institution on suspicion of having COVID-19?

Please make sure the following when going for a medical examination.
Unless directed by a doctor, please refrain from visiting more than one medical institution, because there have been cases where doing so has caused the spread of infection.

When visiting a medical institution, please wear a mask, wash your hands and fingers thoroughly, and follow proper cough etiquette*.

* When coughing or sneezing, use a mask, tissue paper, handkerchief, sleeve or the inside of your elbow to cover your mouth and nose.