COVID-19 : Doctors Warn Of Health System 'Break Down '

Following the outbreak of the deadly Coronavirus pandemic, doctors in Japan have warned that the country's medical system could collapse amid a wave of new coronavirus cases.

According to officials, emergency rooms have been unable to treat some patients with serious health conditions due to the extra burden caused by the virus.

One ambulance carrying a patient with coronavirus symptoms was turned away by 80 hospitals before he could be seen.

Japan, which initially appeared to have the virus under control, passed 10,000 confirmed cases on Saturday.

More than 200 people have now died with Covid-19 and the capital Tokyo remains the worst-affected area.

Groups of doctors at GP surgeries in the city are assisting hospitals with the testing of potential coronavirus patients in order to ease some of the pressure on the health system, officials say.

"This is to prevent the medical system from crumbling," Konoshin Tamura, the deputy head of an association of GPs, told Reuters news agency.

"Everyone needs to extend a helping hand. Otherwise, hospitals would break down," he added.

Two medical associations said the coronavirus outbreak was reducing the ability of Japan's hospitals to treat other, serious, medical emergencies.

Hospitals are already turning away patients, and all this while the number of confirmed cases of Covid-19 remains relatively low compared with other countries.

Doctors have complained of a lack of protective equipment, which suggests Japan has not prepared well for the virus. This is despite the fact it was the second country outside China to record an infection, way back in January.

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