A government panel of experts is warning the nation’s health care system may collapse if the sharp increase in the number of COVID-19 cases seen recently in urban areas continues.

In a recommendation released after their meeting Wednesday, they stressed the need for people in locations where there is an accelerating spread to keep outings to a minimum.

Even though the country has not seen an explosive increase in infections so far, the health care systems in Tokyo and the four prefectures of Kanagawa, Aichi, Osaka and Hyogo are under increased strain, the experts noted, adding that "drastic countermeasures need to be taken as quickly as possible."