epa08343197 A general view of the first ice hockey match of the final series of the XIII Republican amateur competition for the prizes of the Presidential Sports Club in Minsk, Belarus, 04 April 2020. Belarus did not suspend sport games, as most of European countries did because of coronavirus COVID19 pandemic. EPA-EFE/ANDREI POKUMEIKO / POOL

MOSCOW, June 22. /TASS/. The Congress of the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) confirmed on Monday new dates for the 2021 World Championship in Latvia and Belarus, taking into account the ongoing global spread of the novel coronavirus, the IIHF press office said in a statement on Monday.

“The 2020 IIHF Extra-Ordinary Congress has assigned the tournaments of the 2021 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship program…,” the statement reads.

The IIHF stated in April that the 2020 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship, due on May 8-24, 2020 in Zurich and Lausanne, Switzerland, was cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic.

“The delegates [of the Congress] confirmed the dates of the 2021 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship in Minsk and Riga to 21 May to 6 June 2021,” according to the statement.

The 2021 IIHF World Championship was initially scheduled to be co-hosted by Latvia and Belarus between May 7 and 23, 2021.

In late December 2019, Chinese officials notified the World Health Organization (WHO) about the outbreak of a previously unknown pneumonia in the city of Wuhan, in central China. Since then, cases of the novel coronavirus — named COVID-19 by the WHO — have been reported in every corner of the globe, including Russia.

On March 11, 2020, the WHO declared the coronavirus outbreak a pandemic. According to the latest statistics, over 9,000,000 people have been infected worldwide and more than 470,900 deaths have been reported. In addition, so far, over 4,847,000 individuals have recovered from the illness across the globe.

To date, 592,280 coronavirus cases have been confirmed in Russia, with 344,416 patients having recovered from the disease. Russia’s latest data indicates 8,206 fatalities nationwide. Earlier, the Russian government set up an Internet hotline to keep the public updated on the coronavirus situation.

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