Since the arrival of the first wave of the coronavirus in the spring of 2020, the workload experienced by one nurse at a major private hospital in Okinawa Prefecture has increased considerably due to the treatment of COVID-19 patients.

For one, it takes twice the number of nurses to take care of a COVID-19 patient. With the hospital designating certain parts of the facility as a virus-tainted red zone, it takes more time to move in and out of it to get medical supplies.

"At one point, I had disposable protective gear on for more than five hours, unable to take a meal break or get something to drink," said the nurse, who asked not to be named due to privacy concerns.