Japan doctors' group, others declare medical emergency - Metro US

Japan doctors’ group, others declare medical emergency

Protesters wearing masks, amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, hold banners with slogans at a rally supporting a hospital's medical workers' strike in front of the health ministry in Tokyo

TOKYO (Reuters) – National associations of doctors, nurses and seven other medical groups in Japan declared a state of medical emergency on Monday, urging the government to support the nation’s medical system creaking under the strain of the coronavirus pandemic.

“The spread of the coronavirus infection shows no signs of stopping. Left unchecked, people in Japan will not be able to receive regular medical care, let alone care for COVID-19,” the joint statement said.

The nine groups, which also include national associations of dentists and pharmacists, called on the government to provide proper assistance to frontline medical workers, and on the public to exercise infection prevention measures thoroughly.

While nowhere near the severity seen in the United States and parts of Europe, coronavirus infections in Japan have risen sharply to record highs this month, raising fears that medical facilities may be overwhelmed when they are typically understaffed in the holiday season.

In all, Japan has reported more than 201,000 infections and 2,965 fatalities, according to public broadcaster NHK.

(Reporting by Kiyoshi Takenaka; Editing by Richard Chang)

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