Prague, June 30 (CTK) – All members of the Czech Olympic team will undergo free tests for the Zika virus immediately after their return from Brazil, Health Minister Svatopluk Nemecek (Social Democrats, CSSD) told reporters on Thursday.
The tests will be carried out by a laboratory of the Health Institute in Ostrava, north Moravia.
The ministry has also issued recommendations for the Olympic team as well as the visitors to the Summer Olympic Games to be held in Rio de Janeiro, Brasilia, Salvador, Belo Horizonte and Sao Paulo in Brazil on August 5-21.
“We are trying to protect the health of Czech citizens and make them behave responsibly when travelling abroad and after their return to protect primarily pregnant women and people with deteriorated immunity from the Zika virus. The athletes who will face extreme physical load and represent our country at the Olympics deserve our support,” Nemecek said.
Czech Olympic contestants realise the risk of the Zika virus, Olympic team captain Martin Doktor, sprint canoeist and a double Olympic champion, said.
“We will do our utmost not to expose the athletes to the risk. Fortunately, the latest reports from the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the organisers from Rio say the number of Zika-infected people has dramatically decreased with the beginning of winter weather,” Doktor said.
He gave Nemecek a colourful Olympic shirt to thank him for his care of the Olympic team.
Jiri Neumann, head doctor of the Olympic team, pointed out that the best prevention would be to avoid mosquito bites and stay in mosquito-free rooms.