The Japan Medical Association said Wednesday that a medical support nonprofit organization will set up a multilingual hotline to help foreign nationals in Japan with inquiries regarding the new coronavirus.
The Association of Medical Doctors of Asia Medical Information Center will operate the service in eight languages between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. from Friday to May 20. The phone number for the hotline is 03-6233-9266.
English will be accessible every day, Chinese on weekdays, while other languages including Korean, Spanish and Vietnamese will be available on designated days, the JMA said in a release.
The JMA will give financial assistance to the information center, which provides medical support for non-Japanese speakers, a JMA official said.
The AMDA center will provide information to foreigners such as for what symptoms they should see a doctor, and where to go if they believe they are infected, under the guidelines released by the Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry.
Since January, phone calls to the center have surged due to inquiries regarding the coronavirus, the JMA official said.
Although the health ministry offers a toll-free number, it is available only in Japanese. The ministry asks foreign nationals to call the consultation call center of their respective prefectural governments. However, only Tokyo and highly populated prefectures such as Osaka, Aichi and Fukuoka have multi-language services available.