Rio Olympics not to be moved or postponed: WHO

A day earlier, medical experts in an open letter had suggested the global health bodyto move or postpone the August games to help prevent the spread of Zika virus.

Last Updated: May 29, 2016, 13:39 PM IST

Zee Media Bureau

New Delhi: The World Health Organisation has shunned call made by over 150 medical experts and finally decided not to alter the location of Rio Olympics 2016 due to Zika virus.

A day earlier, medical experts in an open letter had suggested the global health bodyto move or postpone the August games to help prevent the spread of Zika virus.

Holding the Games in Rio, the second worst affected city in Brazil, would be "irresponsible" and "unethical" and could risk spreading the virus to "poor, as-yet unaffected places" like Africa and South Asia, said the letter.

 

But in a stern reply, the WHO said moving the Olympics would not have a major impact on the spread of Zika.

"Based on current assessment, cancelling or changing the location of the 2016 Olympics will not significantly alter the international spread of Zika virus," it said in a statement late Friday.

Zika, which can cause birth defects including a devastating syndrome known as microcephaly in which babies are born with unusually small heads and brains, can be introduced to a new region when a local mosquito picks it up from an infected human.

(With IANS inputs)