Saturday, 28 May 2016

Zika Threat At Rio Olympics

The London Olympics in 2012 generated around £1.1 billion for the IOC from sponsorship deals, TV Broadcasting deals, image rights licensing, ticketing and hospitality and as Rio 2016 is expected to surpass even this amount and there we have a billion pounds worth of reason why Rio will be going ahead this year as planned.  
With 500,000 extra foreign visitors expected to land Rio during the Olympics in August, 152 health experts have signed a letter calling for the event to be cancelled or moved elsewhere due to concerns over public health and the spread of the Zika virus which is linked to serious birth defects.
The letter says Zika has more serious medical consequences than first thought and claims the health emergency contains many uncertainties amidst fears that the virus could spread more rapidly around the world but the WHO and IOC have rejected the call, saying suspending or moving it would 'not significantly alter the spread of the virus' and postponing the games would: 'compromise the huge investment that athletes and others have made in preparing for what should be a fantastic occasion'.
The World Health Organisation issued a global health emergency about Zika in February but their current advice for Rio stands as pregnant women and women seeking to get pregnant should not travel to the Zika zone or be exposed to returning partners who may have been infected.
Some athletes are also uneasy with the Great Britain team delaying arrival in Brazil because of the Zika risk and some countries having already relocated their pre-Olympic training camps to outside of the risk area. 
Professor Amir Attaran of the University of Ottawa argued that: 'What is proposed is to bring half-a-million Olympic visitors into the heart of the epidemic. But for the Games, would anyone recommend sending an extra half-a-million visitors into Brazil right now?'
The answer appears to be they will when there is is over a billion pound banking on it Prof.


Liber - Latin for "The Free One" said...
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Falling on a bruise said...

As do the IOC it seems.