Japan Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is planning to declare a state of emergency in view of the surging cases of coronavirusin the country,
especially in Tokyo and other large cities, government sources said on Monday.
Pressure had been mounting on Abe to make the declaration amid a spurt in COVID-19 cases recently, with calls for the move from
Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike and the Japan Medical Association intensifying, Xinhua news agency reported.
The Tokyo metropolitan government, along with healthcare specialists, said that the number of hospital beds available
for coronavirus patients will soon reach capacity, with the health ministry rapidly trying to secure more beds.
Adding to pressure on the government to demonstrably bolster its preventive and countermeasures to the spread of the virus, a panel of
government experts warned recently that the country's healthcare system could collapse if coronavirus cases continue to spike.
The healthcare system in Tokyo and four other prefectures are under increased strain and "drastic countermeasures need to be taken as
quickly as possible," the experts said.
As of Sunday, 143 new cases of COVID-19 were recorded in Tokyo, a record daily high for the capital, bringing the total to 1,034,
with Japan's health ministry and local governments adding that nationwide cases rose to 3,531 as of Sunday afternoon.
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