Race to boost security in Rio

It's just under a month to the start of the Rio Olympics, and Brazil is making a marathon effort to ramp up security and allay public concerns over safety.

In a ceremony on Tuesday at the Barra Olympic Park, the country's top security force officially took charge of safety for the Games, which are held every four years. The National Public Security Force is tasked with protecting venues hosting the Olympic and Paralympic competitions over the next two months, and will work with the federal police and 20 other bodies.

"I am sure we will have a beautiful Olympic Games," Justice Minister Alexandre de Moraes was quoted as saying on the Rio Games official website.

As the Aug 5 opening ceremony draws near, falling police budgets, rising crime and the Zika epidemic are at the top of a list of concerns.

But Brazilian officials put up a united front on Tuesday to show that the country was up to the task of hosting the Games, said CNN.

Interim President Michel Temer said Brazil has put together "a solid security programme" that will "ensure that the sporting events take place in an atmosphere of absolute peace and tranquillity", reported The Guardian.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 07, 2016, with the headline 'Race to boost security in Rio'. Print Edition | Subscribe