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Brazil will be ready for Olympics despite political and health challenges


Brazil’s Interim President Michel Temer has assured the International Olympic Committee (IOC) that the handover of political power in the country has not interrupted preparations for the Rio 2016 Games.

Temer in a telephone conversation with IOC president Thomas Bach said the games will take place as planned.

The country’s newly appointed Sports Minister Leonardo Picciani also assured that the organisers are ready to cope with the Zika threat.

“As we have said, combat and prevention measures are being adopted as public security measures. The most important thing is that Brazil at this time has a positive message for the world. We are of the conviction that we are ready and we need to re-affirm this to the international community, that we’re open to receive international entities and representatives from other countries to show off our preparation,” he said.

The Health ministry said the number of confirmed and suspected cases of microcephaly in Brazil associated with the Zika virus was down to 4,759 in the week through May 7.

Picciani assured that preparations for the global sports event were on schedule and security for the games was guaranteed.

Rio Olympics: the challenges faced by #Brazil https://t.co/0yCS18FvIk by hugolowell #Rio #Rio2016 pic.twitter.com/uT2p6MHWfn

— euronews (euronews) April 14, 2016

“The organising of the games are absolutely normal but it is clear that for the event of this size there are issues that have to be resolved, but they are provided for within the government plan and are on schedule,” he said.

Picciani reiterated that the differences were overcome in a meeting with Temer.

The Defence Ministry is expected to deploy 38,000 troops for security during the Olympics to back 47,000 police and civil defence personnel to maintain security in Rio de Janeiro.

Political turmoil over Rousseff’s impeachment, the risk of crime and an outbreak of the Zika virus have threatened to keep visitors away from the games scheduled to kick off on August 5.

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