The head of the Japan Medical Association has called the current situation of coronavirus infections in the country "the biggest crisis ever" since the outbreak began.
Nakagawa Toshio said at a news conference on Wednesday that the public is getting used to living with the virus and reaching the limit of their patience in refraining from going out or operating businesses. He noted that highly transmissible variants are now becoming the main source of infections.
Nakagawa also said the number of new infections is about to spike in Tokyo and its surrounding areas. He argued that the target areas of intensive anti-infection measures should be expanded. Currently, the prefectures of Osaka, Hyogo and Miyagi are designated by the central government for such steps.
Nakagawa said the situation is very serious and is on the brink of whether another state of emergency will be declared.
Wednesday marks one year since the government declared a state of emergency for the first time following the coronavirus outbreak in the country.
Nakagawa said the first declaration came at the appropriate time so that the government was able to share a sense of crisis with the public.
He also said the second declaration contributed to suppressing infections, and he thinks it would have been better if the government had introduced more rigorous measures when the second declaration was lifted.