COVID-19: Rio gives up its Carnival

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The mayor of Rio de Janeiro announced Thursday that his city was giving up organizing its famous Carnival in 2021 that samba schools still hoped to be able to celebrate in July, due to a rebound in the Covid-19 epidemic.

“I have never hidden my passion for carnival and I know the economic importance of this cultural event for our city. However, it seems foolish to me to imagine at this time that we will be able to organize the carnival in July, ”wrote Eduardo Paes on Twitter.

“In 2022 we will be able (all duly vaccinated) to celebrate life and our culture with all the intensity that it deserves”, added the new mayor of the city. He also announced aid for Brazilians who work all year round to organize the gigantic party.

The Rio Carnival traditionally takes place in February or March, just before Lent. In September, the samba schools, which organize the parade, decided to postpone it to July due to the pandemic, focusing in particular on the development of a vaccine.

Despite the start of the vaccination campaign in Brazil on Sunday, the mayor of the city deemed “impossible” to organize in the midst of an epidemic rebound the largest carnival in the world which attracts millions of people to the streets each year.

Brazil is the second country most bereaved by the COVID-19 pandemic behind the United States, with 213,000 dead. The country of 212 million people has faced a sharp increase in the number of cases and deaths since November.

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