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BEIJING, July 7 (Xinhua) -- Brazilian Health Minister ?Ricardo Barros has assured the world that Brazil's healthcare system is all set for the Olympic Games, with "preventive actions in place" against the mosquito that causes the Zika virus.

"The country's healthcare system is duly prepared for this big moment, with preventive actions in place against the Aedes aegypti, 247 monitoring in the six cities hosting the games and trained professionals who are qualified to attend to emergencies," the minister said in a faxed statement to Xinhua on Thursday.

"The circulation of the Zika virus, spread by the Aedes aegypti mosquito, will not hinder us from having a safe and unforgettable event for athletes, participants and spectators."

"The risks are minimal," stressed Barros, who cited a study published by the University of Cambridge that makes a forecast of less than one case of infection among the 500,000 tourists.

?"WHO specialists corroborated on June 14 that the risk of propagation of the disease is very low," said the minister.

"During the games, trips to Rio will represent 0.25% of all travel to Zika-affected areas, according to United States' CDC. Overall, the virus is already circulating in 60 countries, and Brazil represents 15% of the exposed population.

? "During the games, Brazil will be in winter time, which is when diseases spread by the Aedes aegypti hit their lower rate. In addition to that, the mobilization actions to fight the mosquito, like home visits and public investment in monitoring and prevention, have caused an early fall of Zika rates - infection cases dropped 87% between February and May of the current year."

Barros acknowIedged that the monitoring and follow-up of these data are still in progress by means of a partnership with the WHO, in an absolutely transparent manner. He added the proper measures to fight the Aedes aegypti are still in effect, with the backup of three thousand health agents in Rio.

? During the event preparation phase, 51 test events were performed, monitored by the Ministry of Health, and no case of infection resulted from them. Since May 3, the Olympic torch has passed through more than 100 cities, and not a single case has been reported either, according to the minister.

? Brazil has experience in organizing big events, such as the World Cup. "There was also a fuss and preoccupation back then regarding a possible epidemic of dengue fever, but only three cases were reported in tourists," said Barros, who has reaffirmed to the International Olympic Committee that Brazil would never risk the health of athletes and tourists.

"Brazil is keeping all necessary care and measures so that the games are a historical milestone in sports. Therefore, come to the Olympic Games!" the minister concluded in the statement.


Rio to welcome Olympic visitors with "open arms", says interim President

RIO DE JANEIRO, July 6 (Xinhua) -- Brazil's interim President Michel Temer has guaranteed Rio de Janeiro will stage a successful Olympic Games and assured international visitors that the city will welcome them "with open arms".

In an official statement released on Wednesday, Temer said controversy surrounding pollution, tropical disease, public safety and infrastructure concerns have been overcome. Full story

Brazil's interim president rejects any Zika risk during Olympics

BRASILIA, July 6 (Xinhua) -- Brazil's interim president, Michel Temer, stated Wednesday in a statement there was "almost no risk" of contracting the Zika virus during the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.

"We can guarantee, as has the World Health Organization (WHO), that there is almost no risk of cases of the Zika virus occurring during the Games," he said.

By Jessica Washington

SYDNEY Nike Air Max 97 Gold Kopen , June 26 (Xinhua) -- Australia is behind the times when it comes to teaching foreign languages, according to a linguistics expert who said more Australians must learn Chinese.

A split focus on learning heritage European languages and "more relevant" Asian languages is keeping Australia firmly stuck in the past, according to Professor Warren Midgley of the University of Southern Queensland Nike Air Max 97 Dames Kopen , who said Australia is not making the most of its resources as a multicultural country as a tool to advance language education.

Midgley contended that there is a "stark difference" between the expectations of government policy initiatives and the reality of the educational system, stressing that Australia is severely falling behind the rest of the world when it comes to learning future-relevant foreign languages in this Asian century.

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"We are absolutely stuck in the past, and part of that is it just takes so long to make a change in the language education system - it's like turning the Titanic," Midgley told Xinhua Monday.

"In the late seventies Nike Air Max 97 Wit Kopen , there was a sudden realisation that Japan was a big trading partner, so there was a big emphasis on teaching Japanese, and now it is the largest in terms of popularity across schools in Australia. Japanese is still an important language but it's not the only important language."

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When it comes to the general public in Australia, the professor said they look upon the language fondly, and feel that it should be taught in schools Nike Air Max 97 Blauw Kopen , but many are put off by the difficulty in learning the language.

This difficulty almost made Michaela Weston give up her degree in Chinese language studies, frustrated by her initially slow progress.

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