New pandemic surge in Japan raises fresh Olympic fears

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RISING COVID-19 cases in Japan are mounting fresh fears for the 2021 Olympic with speculations getting more rife that the Games may be postponed yet again or outrightly cancelled.

  Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga, dropped the hint in his first meeting with President Joe Biden of United States.

  According to Suga, his government was listening to experts and doing its “utmost” to prepare for the Games in July but may have no choice than postponing it if the pandemic continues to spike around the world.

  It will be recalled that on Saturday, Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II bid a final farewell to her late husband, Prince Philip, at a funeral restricted by coronavirus, with only 30 guests allowed to attend. Family members — all masked — sat socially distanced in the church for the pared-down ceremony, with bottles of hand sanitiser seen among the floral tributes inside.

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  In Brazil, the country with the third-highest death toll in the world, night shifts have been added to several cemeteries as diggers work around the clock to bury the dead.

  One of these is Vila Formosa, the largest cemetery in Latin America and a showcase for the lethal cost of the pandemic in Brazil, where more than 365,000 people have died from COVID-19.

  Despite the high infection rate, the government of Brazil’s most populous state Sao Paulo announced it will allow businesses and places of worship to reopen from Sunday.

  Thailand recorded its fourth consecutive day of more than 1,000 new cases on Saturday, with spiralling infections linked to a nightlife district of the capital Bangkok earlier this month.

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  Alcohol sales will be banned in Bangkok restaurants from Sunday, while entertainment venues will be shuttered across the country for two weeks.

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