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WHO: Too early for decision about Tokyo Olympics

The head of the World Health Organization says it is too early to make a decision about the Tokyo Olympic Games, which are scheduled to start in late July.


People are wondering whether the games should be held as scheduled, in light of the global outbreak of the new coronavirus. The virus is spreading in Japan.


WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus spoke with reporters on Tuesday. He said Japan is doing everything that it can. He also said he is hoping that the situation will improve.


Tedros added that he has spoken about the Games with Thomas Bach, the president of the International Olympic Committee. The director-general said he thinks it’s too early to make a decision now. He also said it would be good to monitor the situation.


Tedros said the new coronavirus is different from SARS, MERS, and influenza. He indicated that it “spreads less efficiently than flu.”


He warned, however, that the symptoms can become more serious than flu symptoms. He noted that the coronavirus’ global fatality rate stands at 3.4 percent. That’s far higher than influenza’s rate, which is less than one percent.

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