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Japan seized with anxiety over homegrown outbreak

Lack of beds and limited testing ability raise fears of nation unprepared to cope

People walk on the famous Shibuya crossing in Tokyo. Authorities have failed to determine how some of Japan's patients have contracted the coronavirus. (Photo by Shihoko Nakaoka)

TOKYO -- With the coronavirus now spreading to patients lacking direct ties to China, Japan is scrambling to strengthen screening and treatment capacity in case a full-blown crisis erupts.

A clinic near Shinjuku Station in central Tokyo has been seeing more and more patients worried they could have the new virus. So far, it has asked patients with coldlike symptoms whether they have visited Wuhan, the Chinese city at the center of the outbreak. But it could soon start asking about trips to any overseas locations.

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