Rio Olympics should be moved or postponed due to Zika, suggest experts

More than hundred prominent doctors in a letter to the World Health Organisation (WHO) have suggested that the Rio Olympics should be moved or postponed over the Zika outbreak in Brazil.

Last Updated: May 28, 2016, 15:02 PM IST

Zee Media Bureau

New Delhi: More than hundred prominent doctors in a letter to the World Health Organisation (WHO) have suggested that the Rio Olympics should be moved or postponed over the Zika outbreak in Brazil.

"We make this call despite the widespread fatalism that the Rio 2016 Games are inevitable or 'too big to fail,'" the writers said on Friday in the letter addressed to WHO Director-General Margaret Chan.

"Our greater concern is for global health. The Brazilian strain of Zika virus harms health in ways that science has not observed before."

However, the WHO released a statement saying that based on its current assessment, "cancelling or changing the location of the 2016 Olympics will not significantly alter the international spread of Zika virus."

The organisation noted that Brazil has been the epicentre of the virus and one of almost 60 countries that have reported continuing transmission of Zika by mosquitoes, CNN reported.

"People continue to travel between these countries and territories for a variety of reasons. The best way to reduce risk of disease is to follow public health travel advice," the WHO said.

The International Olympic Committee has said it has no plans to cancel or postpone the Games.

(With IANS inputs)