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Japan poised to stop fully tracking COVID cases

Current rule leads hospitals to prioritize paperwork over patients

A nurse checks a patient at a designated clinic for suspected COVID-19 cases in Fukuoka.    © Kyodo

TOKYO -- The Japanese government is considering scrapping its policy of tracking all COVID-19 cases in the country as surging infections add to the burden on doctors scrambling to treat patients.

Health Minister Katsunobu Kato discussed the matter with the National Governors' Association on Tuesday. Tottori Prefecture Gov. Shinji Hirai said Kato sounded receptive to ditching the policy. A decision could be made as early as this month.

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