Japanese prefectural governors urged the central government Tuesday to limit its daily reporting requirement for coronavirus cases to the elderly and other at-risk people in a bid to lessen the administrative burden on hospitals amid a resurgence of infections.
"It is more important to save the lives of those around us than to keep track of statistics," said Tottori Gov. Shinji Hirai at a virtual meeting of the National Governors' Association's coronavirus task force.
Hirai, who also chairs the association, stressed the figures do not accurately reflect the actual situation as many infections go undiagnosed.
The current infection situation "is getting worse and there are no signs of a turnaround," the governors said in an emergency statement, stressing the urgent need to reorganize the system so that medical workers can devote their time to treating patients rather than paperwork.
The governors also called on the government to promote vaccinations and secure more fever-reducing antipyretic drugs, which are in short supply.
The government has indicated plans to announce, as early as Wednesday, an overhaul of its COVID-19 measures, including changing reporting obligations imposed on medical facilities.
Doctors are currently required by law to report all COVID-19 cases to the government by entering the data into a system shared with public health centers.