Brazilian president Dilma Rousseff travels to London this Tuesday afternoon where she will have an intensive schedule related to the London Olympic competitions until Saturday.
She will attend the opening of the Olympic Games on Friday as the host of the next, 2016 games. The visit to London will be used as a sterling opportunity to promote Brazil as a tourist destiny in view of the upcoming 2014 World Cup and Olympic Games.
Dilma will be accompanied by ministers Helena Chagas of Social Communication, Aldo Rebelo of Sports, Antonio Patriota of Foreign Relations, Gastão Vieira of Tourism, Aloizio Mercadante of Education and Marco Antonio Raupp of Science, Technology and Innovation, as well as the president of the Chamber of Deputies, Marco Maia (PT, Rio Grande do Sul).
During her stay in London, Dilma will attend a reception for heads of state and government offered by queen Elizabeth at Buckingham Palace.
On Wednesday, July 25, she has a meeting scheduled with the prime minister, David Cameron, for a discussion of the economic crisis in Europe and the rest of the world.
On Thursday, July 26, science and education will be the focus of the president’s activities. She will visit the London Science Museum in the company of Stephen Hawking and meet with Brazilian students who are participating in the government’s Science Without Borders program (an exchange program that will eventually send 100,000 students, professionals and researchers to study and work abroad in order to reduce a science skills shortage in Brazil). Dilma will sign an agreement that will include British universities in the program.
Also on Thursday, Dilma will inaugurate the Casa Brasil in London that will present an exposition to promote the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro as part of a campaign by the Brazilian Tourism Institute.
The Brazilian delegation to the London Olympic Games has 259 athletes, 136 men and 123 women. They will participate in 32 sports.
Meanwhile, in Brazil the state secretary of Health in Rio Grande do Sul confirmed that the total of H1N1 subtype influenza A, also known as swine flu, deaths in the state had risen to 46.
Along with 25 deaths in Paraná and 62 in Santa Catarina, the total of flu deaths so far this year in the three states in the southern region of Brazil has now risen to 133.
For the sake of comparison, the total deaths this year is running at slightly less than 17% of those in 2009, the height of a flu pandemic, when there were a total of 789 deaths.
The Ministry of Health is expected to send over 400,000 vaccines to the region so that children between the ages of 2 and 5 can be vaccinated.
The minister of Health, Alexandre Padilha, says that there is no danger of new epidemic in Brazil. The minister admitted there was a greater circulation of the flu virus, but pointed out that there is also a much bigger treatment network in place to deal with the problem rapidly and efficiently.
Brazilian health providers have been instructed to use Tamiflu as soon as symptoms of the influenza A appear as the medicine is most effective when given in the first 48 hours.