Coronavirus (COVID-19): Helpful links and advice

Written by BCCJ
February 14, 2020

Written by BCCJ
February 14, 2020

Coronaviruses (CoV) are a large family of viruses that cause illness ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases such as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS-CoV) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS-CoV). A novel coronavirus (nCoV) is a new strain that has not been previously identified in humans.

On January 30, 2020, the International Health Regulations Emergency Committee of the World Health Organization declared the recent Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak a “public health emergency of international concern”. In severe cases, the new strain of infection can cause pneumonia, severe acute respiratory syndrome, kidney failure and even death.



The leadership team at the British Chamber of Commerce in Japan (BCCJ) is carefully monitoring the COVID-19 situation.

While it is ‘business as usual’ at the Chamber, we ask that anyone who meets the following criteria refrain from joining BCCJ events:

  • those who have travelled to areas identified as high-risk within the past 14 days;
  • have had contact with someone who has been in the affected areas (as designated by the WHO) within the last 14 days;
  • those who are feeling unwell, or experiencing any of the following symptoms: respiratory symptoms, fever, cough, shortness of breath and breathing difficulties.


UK Government Advisory

The UK’s Chief Scientific Advisor Patrick Vallace, released a video update last week.  In relation to the Coronavirus COVID-19, Vallance emphasises the importance of basic hygiene such washing your hands regularly especially after being in public spaces, using alcohol sanitizers, and avoiding touching your face.

‘The main things you can do to take care of yourself is to prioritise good hand hygiene.’ – UK Government Chief Scientific Adviser We continue to monitor the Diamond Princess situation very closely. We are in daily contact with the Japanese government and cruise operator. We are in direct contact with British passengers who have requested consular assistance. British passengers requiring urgent assistance plse call +81 3 5211 1100 or via web contact form at

Posted by British Embassy Tokyo on Sunday, February 9, 2020


UK Gov Aid

UK aid will help prevent the spread of the virus around the world, by supporting them to rapidly identify and care for patients with symptoms.

  • UK aid to the World Health Organisation (WHO) will help prevent the spread of the virus in developing countries, by supporting them to rapidly identify and care for patients with symptoms.
  • Additional experts funded by UK aid will be deployed to the WHO to help coordinate the international response.
  • The new support announced on 8 February demonstrates how UK aid is making the world a safer place, tackling disease outbreaks that do not respect borders.

Click here to read the full article


Helpful resources

World Health Organization’s Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) advice for the public:

Coronavirus (COVID-19): latest information and advice – GOV.UK

Health – Japan travel advice – GOV.UK

Tokyo Metropolitan Infectious Disease Surveillance Center (in Japanese):