A major group of doctors in Tokyo has declared a state of medical emergency, citing a possible collapse of the healthcare system.
Tokyo Medical Association President Ozaki Haruo told reporters on Monday that a steady rise in the number of coronavirus patients will not only result in a shortage of hospital beds but trigger in-house infections in hospitals.
Ozaki said when this happens, medical staff will not be able to provide services to critically ill patients.
He said the next six weeks will be critical in preventing an explosive spread of the virus, and called on all Tokyo citizens to refrain from non-essential outings.
Ozaki urged the Tokyo Metropolitan Government to come up with measures to ensure that all infected patients who are seriously ill are eligible for proper treatment.
At the same time, he gave credit to the metropolitan government for its efforts to secure hotels to move patients with mild symptoms currently in hospitals.
Ozaki said this way, staff can concentrate on treating patients with serious conditions and reduce their burden. He said it's most important to slow down the speed of infections and that will lead to solving all the problems.