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Coronavirus

Japan’s Prime Minister Weighs State of Emergency

TOKYO — Japan’s prime minister said vaccine approval was being speeded up as the coronavirus spreads in the nation scheduled to hold the already-delayed 2020 Olympics this summer.

Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga stressed his determination to hold the Olympics and said preparations were moving ahead. The Games are scheduled to be held in July, which will mean the arrival of tens of thousands of athletes, officials and media.

Suga said holding the Olympics will be “proof that people have overcome the coronavirus,” giving “hope and courage.”

The vaccine timetable will advance by a month, meaning the approvals will start this month and vaccinations will be administered to people beginning in February, instead of March or later.

Cases have been growing in Japan in recent weeks, with more than 3,400 deaths so far related to the coronavirus.

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NEW YORK (AP) — President Joe Biden promised to distribute hundreds of millions of free COVID-19 tests and to open more testing sites to fight surging infections, but the stepped-up efforts will not come in time for people who want to find out if they are infected before the holidays.

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