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Olympics: WHO pandemic declaration will not change plans for Tokyo Games: Suga

TOKYO – Japan will make preparations to hold the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics as scheduled despite the World Health Organization characterizing a day earlier the coronavirus outbreak a pandemic, the top government spokesman said Thursday.


Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said at a press conference there is no change to the government’s stance, reiterating that Tokyo will work with the International Olympic Committee, games organizers, and the Tokyo metropolitan government to host the sporting events this summer.


Noting that the organization is “deeply concerned both by the alarming levels of spread and severity,” WHO Director General Tedros Ghebreyesus said Wednesday, “We have therefore made the assessment that COVID-19 can be characterized as a pandemic,” referring to the official name of the disease.

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