India’s Rio chef de mission dismisses fears over Zika virus

New Delhi, June 29 (IANS) India’s chef de mission for Rio Olympics Rakesh Gupta on Wednesday dismissed fears of Zika virus that has forced many international players to withdraw from the upcoming summer Games in the Brazilian capital.

Gupta said the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) has taken enough measures to educate the athletes about the virus and have taken all the preventive measures.

He said so far there has been no objection from any of the participating athletes.

“IOA has taken all possible measures to inform the athletes about the virus. So far, none of the athletes have objected to their participation in the Olympics. We are in constant touch with the organising committee in Brazil,” Mehta told reporters here.

“We will not take any chance and so each of the kits for the Olympics contain three full sleeve shirts which will protect them from the virus,” he added.

Deputy chef de mission Anandeshwar Pandey urged the media not to spread any fears about the virus which may discourage the athletes from taking part in the Rio Games.

Referring to the 2010 Commonwealth Games, Pandey said during that time there was widespread reportage of dengue in the national capital but that did not deter the athletes.

Due to the fear of the Zika virus, many international stars have withdrawn from what will be the maiden Olympics in South America.

More than 100 athletes from India are expected to take part in the quadrennial extravaganza, slated from August 5 to 21.



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