Zik-V in Jamaica more worrisome than Brazil - Fennell

May 19, 2016
Patrick Planter/Photographer Presenters at The RJR/Gleaner Sensitisation Rights Olympics Seminar, held at the company's North Street office, react to a question at Tuesday's function THey are (from left) executive director of the Jamaica Intellectual Property Organisation (JIPO), Lilyclaire Bellamy, Jamaica Olympic Association president, Michael Fennell, Mrs. Shena Stubbs-Gibson, senior legal advisor, The Gleaner Company (Media) Limited, Mrs. Claire Clarke-Grant, general manager, Television Jamaica and Don Anderson, board member, CANOC Broadcasting Inc.

WHILE political and health authorities as well as sporting interests continue to express fear about travelling to Brazil for this summer's Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro because of the concerns about the mosquito-borne Zika virus, the president of the Jamaica Olympic Association, Mike Fennell, is much more concerned about transmission of the disease in Jamaica.

The Zika virus has been linked to microcephaly in newborns, while there are also concerns that the disease can be transmitted sexually and may cause other yet unknown complications.

"Zika is well taken care off (in Brazil). I'm more concerned about here in Jamaica and the mosquitoes," said Fennell.

"I was in Brazil last week and there was no incident. I am concerned about Jamaica because we have the threat of Zika right here in Jamaica; and the same precautions we need to take here we need to take it when we go to Brazil," he added.

Meanwhile, Fennell said he was not concerned that Jamaican athletes may refuse to go to Brazil because of health or political issues.

Expects brilliant Olympic Games

He added that controversy has surrounded every Olympic Games in recent history.

"This is not to say that we do not take them seriously. We take all of them seriously, that's why leadership is there to ensure that everything is in place," he said.

Fennell is confident that Brazil would stage a very good Olympics.

"I do believe we will see a brilliant Olympic Games in Rio. It will be of a different disposition altogether because it's not of the old-school type of London or Greece, but certainly it will have its own flair and the Rio organising committee have gone to a lot of trouble to ensure that all the issues are being properly addressed and that we will have a good Games," he said.

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