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Q&A Links

-Q&A about Infection Prevention
-Q&A about Symptoms,Tests and Diagnosis

-Q&A about Self-isolation and Close Contact
-Q&A about Vaccines, Side Effects and Vaccines for children
-Q&A about Border Measures
-Q&A about COVID-19 in Japanese



【Q1】What should I do if I have a fever, cough or other symptoms?

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

(1) 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.)

(2) 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 a Call Center immediately.

(3) Just in case, pregnant women, the same as people who are susceptible to severe illness, should contact your doctor or a COVID-19 Consultation Center. 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.

(4) Take days off work or school and refrain from dining with others if you are feeling sick. Even if your fever is relieved by taking fever medicine, you may spread the infection.

【Q2】What happens after I speak with a doctor or COVID-19 Consultation Center?

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.

【Q3】Is it safe to take antipyretic medication to treat symptoms?

In most cases, it is safe to take antipyretic medication. Ask your doctor or pharmacist in the following cases:
・If you are taking other medication, pregnant, breastfeeding, or a senior citizen. There are also certain medications that you may not take while under treatment for conditions such as stomach and duodenal ulcers.
・Previous allergic reactions or asthma due to medication, etc.
・Severe and/or long lasting symptoms including but not limited to severe pain and high fever.

【Q4】What if I run out of medicine?

The response will depend on your municipality. Some deliver medication through online services. You may have it delivered to a cohabitant, or ask for your package to be left in front of your door.

【Q5】I have a constant “wet cough” (coughing with phlegm). How can I alleviate these symptoms?

Try lying on your stomach. When you lie down on your back for a long time, phlegm will easily accumulate in your lungs. Switching positions will improve the level of circulation while expanding your lungs, and consequently help to displace phlegm.

【Q6】Can I get immunity or antibodies if I am infected with COVID-19?

It is known that antibodies and immunity against viral infections, such as measles, are produced after infection. It is also known that antibodies are produced in the body after infection with COVID-19, but at this moment, it is not clear how much antibody is produced, how long it will last, and whether immunity can be acquired or not.

Therefore, even if you find that you do not have antibodies to COVID-19, it does not mean that you are not infected with COVID-19 or that you have not been infected in the past.


Tests and Diagnosis

【Q1】What tests are being used to diagnose COVID-19?

Tests for diagnosing COVID-19 include PCR Test, Quantitative Antigen Test, and Qualitative Antigen Test. These tests are all designed to detect SARS-CoV-2 virus (which caused COVID-19) in one’s body and therefore can be used to see if someone is currently infected with the virus. Antibody tests are only used to see if a person has previously been infected with COVID-19. Antibody tests are not for use to diagnose acute infection.

【Q2】How can I check if I am infected with COVID-19?

If you have a fever or any symptoms and if your doctor suspects that you are infected, you will be tested for public expense. If you wish to be tested without any symptoms, you need to pay it for your own.

【Q3】I want to be diagnosed and receive prescription by phone or online

Considering the current situation, as a temporary special measure, diagnosis and prescriptions will be available by phone or online including initial consultation, at the doctor’s discretion. If you do not have a family doctor, please contact the nearest medical institution listed on our website (only in Japanese). Depending on your symptoms and condition, the doctor may advise you to have an in-person consultation at the doctor's discretion.

【Q4】How does the pulse oximeter work?

If the Sp02 (blood oxygen saturation) level is clocked below 93% by the pulse oximeter, consult the local public health center or family doctor immediately. The device may not provide an accurate measurement if your hands are cold, swollen, or if you use nail polish. There may also be a slight variation in measurements depending on the product.
Please return the used pulse oximeter to the municipality that sent it to you after use, while following their instructions.

【Q5】Who is at increased risk for severe illness and death among diagnosed with COVID-19?

Among those diagnosed with COVID19, the elderly, those with underlying medical conditions, and some pregnant women in their third trimesters are more likely than others to develop severe illness or die. Comorbidities known to cause more severe illness include: Chronic, Obstructive Pulmonary Diseases (COPD ), Chronic Kidney Diseases, Diabetes, Hypertension, Cardiovascular diseases, Obesity, and Smoking.
Full vaccination (two doses) is effective in preventing severe illness.

【Q6】What is the definition of "severe illness"?

-Severe illness : Hospitalisation in the ICU(intensive care unit) using a ventilator + under critical condition.
-Moderate illness : Pneumonia and shortness of breath.
-Moderate illnessⅡ: Requiring oxygen supply.
-Moderate illnessⅠ: Those who do not require a supply of oxygen.
-Minor : People who can breathe on their own, including those breating with difficulty.
SpO2 levels below 93% should be reported to your physician immediately, even if you don’t notice any symptoms


Call Centers

MHLW Call Center (toll free)

-COVID-19: 0120-565-653
-COVID-19 Vaccines: 0120-761-770
English, Chinese, Korean, Portuguese and Spanish: 9:00-21:00、Thai: 9:00-18:00、Vietnamese: 10:00-19:00
*Everyday including weekends and holidays. This service cannot provide medical advice.

Local Call Centers