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Pandemic disrupts Nobel ceremonies for second year

Because of the pandemic, Nobel Prize winners in science and literature will be presented with their awards in their home countries rather than in Sweden for the second year in a row, according to the organization behind the awards.

An announcement from the Nobel Foundation stated that a decision on the Nobel Peace Prize, which is typically awarded in Norway, had not been made yet.

The winners are announced in early October, and lavish ceremonies are held in the two Scandinavian capitals on December 10, the anniversary of the death of Alfred Nobel, who founded the prize in 1895.

Because of virus travel restrictions, the foundation awarded the science and literature prizes in the laureates' respective home countries last year, rather than in the United States.

There was also no pomp and circumstance surrounding the awarding of the Nobel Peace Prize to the World Food Programme in Oslo.

"I believe that everyone would like the COVID-19 pandemic to be over, but we are not there yet," said Vidar Helgesen of the Nobel Foundation. "I believe that everyone would like the COVID-19 pandemic to be over."

"Because of the uncertainty surrounding the course of the pandemic and the limited availability of international travel opportunities, the laureates in the year 2021 will receive their medals and diplomas in their home countries."

The foundation stated that the ceremonies in 2021 would be "a mixture of digital and physical events," similar to the ones held last year.

Stockholm City Hall, on the other hand, will host video presentations from the laureates, and "hopefully, the ceremony will draw a local audience," according to the organizers.

Following the award ceremony, the prize-winners are invited to a banquet at the City Hall, where they will be joined by the Swedish royal family and approximately 1,300 other guests.

A cancellation of the Nobel banquet had not occurred since 1956, when a disagreement with the Soviet Union over repression in Hungary prompted a postponement of the event.

Covid-19, on the other hand, has prevented the candidates from converging on Stockholm and Oslo in large numbers, a first in peacetime since 1924.

Because of a combination of sick winners and unawarded prizes in that year's competition, both capitals were forced to postpone their awards ceremonies.

While the 2020 prizes were awarded while the pandemic was in full swing, the nominations for the prizes were submitted before the coronavirus began to spread.

The contagion has, however, resulted in potential winners being nominated — and the winners being chosen — during this year's competition.

Last year, virologists were awarded the Nobel Prize in medicine for their discoveries regarding hepatitis C.

Despite the fact that current events rarely influence the areas of focus chosen by the committees, the World Health Organization (WHO) is the favorite to win this year's Nobel Peace Prize, according to the bookmakers.

The Nobel Prizes, which will be awarded between 4 and 11 October and will mark the 120th anniversary of the first awards in 1901, will be announced between 4 and 11 October.

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