More than 400,000 people could die of Covid-19 in Japan if nothing is done to contain the virus, according to a report released Wednesday by the Japanese Health Ministry and reported by public broadcaster NHK.
The report also says 850,000 patients would need ventilators.
"If we receive the outbreak without any weapon to protect ourselves, the number of severe cases will exceed existing number of ventilators," Dr. Hiroshi Nishiura said, the head of the panel.
"All Japanese must change the pattern of action and help us to stop this outbreak as soon as possible," he added.
Some context: Japan officially declared a state of emergency on April 7, months after the first domestic cases of the virus appeared. On Wednesday a public health emergency was issued for all of Japan by the commander of the US Forces Japan (USFJ) amid the novel coronavirus outbreak.