WHO head urges global unity to help make Tokyo Olympics safe

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The head of the World Health Organization said Saturday it will not be easy to make next year’s Tokyo Olympics a safe global gathering after the pandemic.

Speaking at a joint news conference with the IOC, the WHO’s director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus called for “national unity and global solidarity” to fight the coronavirus outbreak ahead of the Olympics. The Games, postponed this year, should bring athletes from more than 200 countries to Japan.

The Summer Games opening ceremony is now due on July 23, 2021, after the International Olympic Committee and organizers in Japan used WHO advice in March before agreeing on a one-year delay.

“We hope Tokyo will be a place where humanity will gather with triumph against COVID,” Tedros said at WHO headquarters.

“It is in our hands, but it is not easy. If we do our best, especially with national unity and global solidarity, I think it’s possible,” he said.

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