Thursday, July 14, 2016

Malaysia - Malaysia not withdrawing from Rio Olympics

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia has no plans to withdraw from the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil despite the rising cases of Zika virus reported in the South American country.

Youth and Sports Minister, Khairy Jamaluddin Abu Bakar said Malaysia was still sending its contingent to compete in the Games and preparation was going on as planned.

However, the National Sports Institute would take precautionary measures and monitor closely the contingent's preparation on health protection, as well as the health risks in Brazil.

"We have informed participants on how to care for themselves so that they can take the necessary measures to avoid being infected.

"As for now, no country is withdrawing from the Games," he said after the memorandum of understanding (MoU) signing ceremony between the ministry and Prasarana Malaysia Berhad today.

The Zika virus has been infecting Brazil and 50 other countries since last year.

Rio de Janeiro alone has recorded some 26,000 infections, making it the city with the highest number of cases so far.

A professor and biologist from Canada, Amir Attarin, in an article published by Harvard Public Health Review recently, had suggested that the Games, held once in four years, be postponed or shifted to another city.

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