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Olympics: 47% of tickets sold and Zika not a problem, Rio organisers
[LAUSANNE] Organisers for the 2016 Rio Olympics said on Wednesday that 47 per cent of the tickets for the Games have already been sold, over five months before the opening ceremony.
The ticket sales so far amount to US$194 million, which is 74 per cent of the financial target set by the organising committee.
"All the tickets for the opening cermeony and the premium events are technically sold out," said Mario Andrada, director of communications for the committee.
The chairman of the committee, Carlos Nuzman, presented a progress report to members of the executive board and International Olympic Committee (IOC) president Thomas Bach.
The preparation for the Games has been disrupted by political and economic crises in Brazil and the Zika virus.
The country has already seen 1.5 million cases of the Zika virus since 2015, and the World Health Organization (WHO) expects an "explosive" spread in the Americas, with 3 to 4 million cases this year.
But Nuzman said that Zika is not a threat to the Olympics.
"The director of WHO (Margaret Chan) recognised there is no problem (with Zika), she was in Brazil with president Dilma (Rousseff) and she gave an interview saying all of this, for these reasons we are confident and I think the position of the IOC is the same," Nuzman told journalists.
Nuzman was also quick to quell fears surrounding the infrastructure and transport in Rio de Janeiro.
"About the subway; we explained it would be ready and the governor of Rio already mentioned it last week," he said.
"All the venues, around 90/95 per cent are ready, only one needs a little more, the velodrome, but it will be ready for the test event. I suppose at the end of April."
For all our Zika coverage, go to bt.sg/zika