Sports arbitration court strips Russian boxer of 2016 Olympic silverSport December 08, 22:48
Russia, US military experts, diplomats to discuss Aleppo in Geneva on Dec. 10 - LavrovWorld December 08, 22:41
Lavrov says US voiced regret over shelling of hospital in Aleppo but somewhat hazilyRussian Politics & Diplomacy December 08, 21:48
Budget revenues from Rosneft privatization to be $11.1 bln — ministerBusiness & Economy December 08, 21:18
Lavrov, Kerry discuss militants’ withdrawal from Aleppo — Russian foreign ministryRussian Politics & Diplomacy December 08, 21:00
Lavrov: Combat actions in Aleppo suspended to take civilians out of cityRussian Politics & Diplomacy December 08, 20:56
Bach says WADA to play part in deciding on 2021 IBU World Championship in RussiaSport December 08, 20:44
Gazprom signs contract for construction of Turkish Stream’s first line with AllseasBusiness & Economy December 08, 20:03
Russian Energy Ministry confirms non-OPEC countries meeting date as December 10 in ViennaBusiness & Economy December 08, 19:59
LONDON, June 7. /TASS/. Brazil’s Sports Minister Leonardo Picciani has dismissed concerns over the Zika virus, saying the athletes and guests could head to Rio Olympics feeling safe as necessary measures have been taken against Zika.
"I am confident that Brazil will face no problems because of the Zika virus and we can with certainty tell the athletes and all who want to visit Rio de Janeiro that they can feel safe heading to the Olympics," he told Tass on Tuesday.
Picciani expressed hope that by August, when South America will for the first time be the venue of the Olympics, the number of cases of transmitted Zika virus will drop to zero in Rio. "A total of 4,000 cases of transmitted virus were fixed in Rio de Janeiro in April, while in May we managed to reduce their number to 700 cases. In June we hope to decrease them further and approach zero figures by August, when the Olympic Games will take place," the sports minister said.
On February 1, the World Health Organization declared Zika a global health emergency. More than 100,000 suspected Zika cases have been fixed in Brazil. The WHO urged protection against mosquito bites, but did not insist on cancellation of the Rio Olympics.
Picciani looks to Olympics with optimism. "The WHO approved the measures the Brazilian government took in fight against the Zika virus," the minister said. "The WHO supports the efforts we make, and this lets us confirm with certainty that we will receive all participants and guests of the Olympics, creating conditions for their safe health," he added.
"Brazil has carried out an awareness campaign to inform the population about a need of fight against the Aedes aegypti mosquito which transmits the infection," the minister said.
He also marked that over the past year Rio has hosted more than 40 competitions and none of them was marred by Zika infection incidents. "From the middle of last year to April of this year, we organized 43 test competitions involving 7,000 athletes, many of whom will take part in the Olympic Games, and we had no cases of the Zika virus or Dengue fever during these test competitions," he stressed.
The Zika virus was first isolated in 1947 in the Zika Forest of Uganda. Last May, when the virus started rapidly spreading in Brazil and then spread to other countries of South and North America, it became a topic for wider discussion.
At the moment, outbreaks have been registered in Asia, Africa, in South and North America and in the Pacific region.
Medical professionals note special concern for infected pregnant women, whose children risk developing brain-damaging microcephaly.
The Rio Olympics will be held from August 5 to August 21, 2016. After that, Rio will host the Paralympic Games, due from September 7 to 18.