Rio de Janeiro (AFP) – Carnival parades in Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo, scheduled for late February, have been postponed until April due to the new wave of COVID-19, authorities said on Friday.
The new scheduled date is April 21, which marks the start of a long weekend.
The city council in Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo announced the postponement of marches in samba schools at the end of April “due to the current situation of the epidemic in Brazil and the need to save lives”. Statement from the authorities of the two largest Brazilian cities.
The decision to postpone the sambadrome rallies in Rio, which attracts tourists from all over the world, as well as those in São Paulo, was announced after a virtual meeting between mayors, health ministers and representatives of samba schools in the two states.
Brazil, the second most affected country in the world by the epidemic, with more than 622,000 deaths, broke its daily record of injuries this week, recording 204854 new cases in one day.
“It is a necessary postponement, we will have more security to implement (the carnival) at the end of April,” said Rio de Janeiro’s Minister of Health, Daniel Soranes.
He added, “After the curve of the epidemic in other countries, we believe that it is very difficult for the current wave to continue until April.”
“We respect the flag and will take measures that are balanced and sufficient, at the same time, to respect a party that represents the largest cultural and popular manifestation in Brazil and has an important impact on the economy of Rio de Janeiro,” the mayor of this city Eduardo Paes, an ardent fan of Carnival.
Federations representing samba schools in Rio and Sao Paulo said they supported the authorities’ decision.
“Greatest Show on Earth”
Said Sedni Cariulho, the league’s president. Samba Schools in Sao Paulo: “It’s the right attitude, it has the full support of the samba schools and we hope that on April 21 we will have a party as full of joy as the carnival requires.” who attended discussions with the authorities.
A press release from the Rio Samba Schools Association asserted that “Rio Carnival is the ‘Greatest Show on Earth’, synonymous with joy, and fascinates everyone,” adding that “the life and health of the audience and participants” was just as important.
Samba schools, neighborhood organizations each with up to 4,000 members, spend months preparing their parades of elaborate gigs, thousands of handmade costumes, and dancers and musicians rehearsing for months to shine before the Sambadrome jury.
Those who purchased tickets for the February shows will be able to use them in April and a phone line will be available to answer questions from ticket holders.
Street carnivals were already canceled in both cities earlier this month due to the health situation.
Brazil has vaccinated nearly 70% of its population of 213 million with two doses of the Covid-19 vaccine.
© 2022 AFP
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