Rio de Janeiro, July 9 (IANS) Brazil’s interim president Michel Temer has reassured international visitors that they will be safe during next month’s Olympic Games here.
In a short video published on Friday, Temer played down reports of rising crime and fears about the mosquito-borne Zika virus, reports Xinhua.
“I want to put people at ease and say that the federal government, state and municipal governments have conducted several meetings to guarantee the safety of visitors to our country and to Rio de Janeiro,” Temer said.
“There is no concern, and no need for concern, about any type of tropical disease, whether it be Zika or anything else. It has already been combated here in Brazil and we are in the middle of winter, meaning there are few mosquitos.”
Earlier in the week, Rio mayor Eduardo Paes described the state government’s handling of security as “terrible, horrible”.
Last month an Australian Paralympic athlete was robbed at gunpoint and two German TV crews had equipment stolen after their car was hijacked by thieves.
On Wednesday, a vehicle belonging to the National Force elite police unit was attacked by gunfire from drug traffickers in the city’s north.
Brazil is deploying some 88,000 security personnel for the Olympics, including 47,000 police and 41,000 soldiers from the armed forces. The figure is more than double that used for the London 2012 Olympics.