Japan doctors' group, others declare medical emergency
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 country's medical system, creaking under the strain of the coronavirus pandemic.
"The spread of the coronavirus infection shows no signs of stopping. Without controls, the people of Japan cannot receive regular medical care, let alone COVID-19," the joint statement said.
The nine groups, which also include national associations of dentists and pharmacists, urged the government to provide adequate support to the frontline medical professionals and to oblige the public to thoroughly implement infection prevention measures.
While coronavirus infections are not nearly as severe in Japan as they are in the US and parts of Europe, they have soared to record highs this month, raising fears that medical facilities will be overwhelmed when they are usually understaffed during the holiday season .
Overall, Japan has reported more than 201,000 infections and 2,965 deaths, according to the public broadcaster NHK.
(Reporting by Kiyoshi Takenaka; Editing by Richard Chang)
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