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WHO chief says COVID pandemic to be far more deadly this year

WHO chief says COVID pandemic to be far more deadly
WHO chief says COVID pandemic to be far more deadly this year

World health experts issued a grim warning Friday that the second year of Covid-19 was set to be "far more deadly", as Japan extended a state of emergency amid growing calls for the Olympics to be scrapped, foreign media say.

"We're on track for the second year of this pandemic to be far more deadly than the first," said the World Health Organization's director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.

The mood also darkened in Japan where the coronavirus state of emergency took in another three regions just 10 weeks before the Olympics, while campaigners submitted a petition with more than 350,000 signatures calling for the Games to be cancelled.

With Tokyo and other areas already under emergency orders until the end of May, Hiroshima, Okayama and northern Hokkaido, which will host the Olympic marathon, will now join them.

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