Brazilian President calls on concerted efforts in fighting Zika virus


Dilma Rousseff
Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff in a past address. [Photo/bloomberg.com]

Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff on Thursday called on the whole nation to fight against the outbreak of the Zika virus, stressing that there should be no delay in the health crisis.

“It still needs time to develop the vaccine, however at the same, we need to take actions immediately. We need to take measures immediately to combat microcephaly and protect all mothers and infants from the mosquitoes which carry and spread the Zika virus. We need to take all measures to eliminate the mosquitoes,” said Rousseff at a press briefing.

According to the Brazilian Health Ministry, the number of microcephaly cases caused by the Zika virus has reached 4,180 so far, and the World Health Organization (WHO) has predicted that the “explosive” spread of the Zika virus in Latin America is expected to reach three or four million cases. Considering this, Rousseff said the Brazilian government at all levels will employ the maximum amount of manpower to tackle the crisis.

“The federal government of Brazil will ensure all necessary resources, facilities and human resources to prevent and eradicate the mosquitoes which may spread the virus. We also need the participation of the entire society to join the war which will continue for some time. We will also mobilize our armed forces and all civil servants. The state and city governments will also make the same efforts,” she said.

The spread of the Zika virus has drawn concern from around the world as the Olympic Games will be held in Rio de Janeiro this summer. Currently, relevant departments are monitoring the outbreak situation closely. Brazilian officials said they will not allow the Zika virus to affect the Olympics, and President Rouseff called on all Brazilians to cooperate together to combat the virus.

“I ask you to mobilize every employee, every member of the labor union you are working with, every friend at church, every colleague at work, every classmate at school, every family member and neighbor. In a word, a mosquito is not a worthy opponent to a united country that has realized the threat,” she said.

The virus transmission has been found in 23 countries across Latin America so far, with Brazil being the hardest-hit by the Zika virus and consequent spike in cases of infant deformities.

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