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Japan Medical Association President Toshio Nakagawa urged the government on Wednesday to declare a fresh state of emergency over the COVID-19 pandemic at an early date, describing the ongoing domestic spread of infections as a “fourth wave.”

“An early emergency declaration is necessary,” Nakagawa said during a regular press conference.

Toshio Nakagawa, president of the Japan Medical Association, speaks at a news conference in Tokyo on Wednesday. | KYODO
Toshio Nakagawa, president of the Japan Medical Association, speaks at a news conference in Tokyo on Wednesday. | KYODO

The call came amid fears of a nationwide surge in COVID-19 cases if movements of people increase further, with the Golden Week holiday period to start later this month.

The medical association head said the medical system in Osaka Prefecture is beginning to collapse, making it difficult for people there to receive proper medical treatment when necessary.

In Osaka, the number of new COVID-19 cases on Wednesday topped 1,000 for the second successive day.

“A similar situation may occur in the metropolitan area (including Tokyo), where the previous state of emergency was lifted three weeks later (than in Osaka),” Nakagawa said.

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