Rio de Janeiro ruled out celebrating its famous Carnival in 2021, which the samba schools planned to hold in July, due to the rebound in the novel Coronavirus Pandemic in Brazil, Mayor Eduardo Paes reported this past Thursday.
“I never hid my passion for carnival and the clear vision I have of the economic importance for this cultural manifestation for our city. However, it seems absurd to imagine at this point that we will be able to carry out the carnival in July,” Paes said on Twitter.
“In 2022 we will be able (all duly vaccinated) to celebrate life and our culture with all the intensity we deserve,” added Paes, who announced an initiative so that the workers of the event have some livelihood this year.
The mega-party in Brazil’s major city is traditionally celebrated in February or March, before Lent, but already last September the samba schools, in charge of the parades, decided to postpone it due to the first attack of COVID-19.
Totally impossible this year
Despite the fact that Brazil began to vaccinate last week, Paes considered it “impossible” to organize and carry out the largest carnival in the world, which attracts millions of people, in the midst of the rebound of the Pandemic.
“This celebration requires a great deal of preparation on the part of public entities and the associations and institutions linked to samba, something impossible to do at the present time,” explained the Mayor.
With 213,000 fatalities, Brazil is the country with the second highest number of deaths from the Coronavirus, after the United States. The Latin American giant has registered an increase in deaths and those infected by the Virus since November.
The carnival attracts millions of tourists and the samba schools spend most of the year preparing the shows at the Sambadrome, where spectators gather to watch tremendous parades featuring troupes of percussionists and dancers.
The duration of this wave and its economic impacts are a great unknown. The Central Bank of Brazil indicated that, despite a rebound in activity at the end of 2020, its projections “do not contemplate the possible effects of the recent increase in the number of COVID-19 cases” and that there is “uncertainty (. ..)above usual, especially in the first quarter of this year “.