Feb. 28, 2020 UPDATE

Coronavirus – Methods and Things Available in Japan to Help Prevent Infection

In this article, we'll be looking at prevention methods against the coronavirus as advised by Japan's Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare, as well as items that will help protect yourself from infection.
Sakurako[ Sharing Kyoto Staff ]

Wondering how to protect yourself from coronavirus in Japan?

In this article, we'll be looking at what Japan's Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare is telling Japanese people to help them protect themselves against the disease. As well, we'll also show you how to effectively wash your hands and what the best way to use masks and disinfectants are.

Coronavirus Symptoms

The coronavirus is a type of viral cold. Common symptoms are fever, a sore throat, and prolonged coughing (around one week). A defining characteristic of the coronavirus is the large number of people reporting fatigue.

The virus' incubation period varies from 1 to 12 and a half days, so it can often spread without you even noticing. Because of this, it's important to take the proper preventative measures and protect yourself and others from infection.

Advice for Public (from Japan's Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare)

1. Most important: hand washing/gargling

Wash your hands with soap and disinfectant before and after cooking, before meals and after returning home. You should also avoid touching your face with your hands.

・Hand-washing facilities

Advice: Germs can easily stick to wet hands, so thoroughly dry your hands with clean paper towels or a warm air dryer.

Location: Most restaurants in Japan have toilets with handwashing facilities and disinfectants so there's no need to worry. 




Advice: Make sure the mask covers both your mouth and nose. When taking off the mask, be careful to not touch the outside and only use the bands to take it off. Do not reuse masks.

Prices in Japan: 200-5000 yen (a mask shortage is driving up prices).

Available locations: Pharmacies, convenience stores, online (due to stock shortages, you may need to line up early in the morning).

・Disinfectant/Alcohol-based wet wipes


Advice: Germs easily stick to wet hands, so when using alcohol-based disinfectants, make sure to keep rubbing until your hands are dry.

Price in Japan: 300 yen and up

Available locations: Pharmacies and online.

2. Practice Respiratory Hygiene

When you cough or sneeze into your hands, germs will stick to them, giving rise to the possibility of the disease spreading. Practice good respiratory hygiene and cover your mouth and nose with your bent elbow or tissue when you cough or sneeze. Then dispose of the used tissue immediately. 

3. If you feel sick, contact the health center and if you have the following symptoms, consult the following consultation desk without going directly to a hospital or doctor's office.

If you fall ill at your accommodation, tell the person in charge and don't overdo yourself.

● Cold/flu symptoms and a continuous fever of 37.5 °C or more for 4 days or longer.

● Fatigue or shortness of breath.

*If you are an elderly person or have an underlying disorder, the warning period for symptoms is shortened to two days.

Consultation desk for returnees and people in close contact with possible infected persons:

Open Hours: 24 hours/Weekdays, weekends and holidays

TEL: 075-414-4726

Through the consultation desk, you can receive instructions on medical consultation times and methods (transportation methods, medical institutions, etc.) if deemed necessary.

(Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare website: https://www.mhlw.go.jp/stf/seisakunitsuite/newpage_00006.html)

(3) For information on the number of infected in Japan, see this article: Daily Updates –Information on the Spread of Coronavirus in Japan

A comment from the staff
In this article, we looked at effective prevention methods for the coronavirus. While we're sure many people are already using masks and disinfectants, it's still a good idea to read over this article and make sure that you're using them properly. We also recommend avoiding confined spaces such as buses and subways as much as possible.

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