Coronavirus delays Rio’s iconic carnival for the first time in 100 years

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi | September 25, 2020 1:41:37 pm

Performer from Beija Flor samba school parades on a float during the Carnival celebrations at the Sambadrome in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, 2016. (AP Photo/Leo Correa)

For the first time in 100 years, Brazil will postpone its iconic Rio carnival owing to its “continued vulnerability” to the coronavirus pandemic. Like many other events this year, Rio de Janeiro’s annual parade, considered a global spectacle, will suffer a setback as Rio’s League of Samba Schools LIESA announced that the coronavirus pandemic “has made it impossible to safely hold the traditional parades.”

While the parade stands cancelled at the moment, Rio’s authorities are yet to announce a decision about the carnival street parties that take place across the city. The city’s tourism promotion agency however, showed scepticism in conducting large scale public events, especially in the absence of a coronavirus vaccine, AP reported.

The traditional event, first held in 1723, is a cultural mainstay of the country and provides many a source of livelihood each year. It’s postponement therefore is likely to impact the country’s already vulnerable working population.

Rio’s carnival was first held in 1723. (File)

Brazil reported its first confirmed coronavirus case on February 26, one day after this year’s Carnival. Since then, the coronavirus pandemic shows no signs of abating in the Latin American country that stands third globally with over 4.6 million infections. Brazil also has the world’s second worst death toll with 139,000 fatalities. (Follow the latest global updates on Covid-19 here)

Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro Thursday announced his government’s aim to secure the supply of a coronavirus vaccine to immunize 10 per cent of its population by the end of 2021.That should cover Brazil’s “priority populations,” the press office said in a statement.

The official date of Rio’s 2021 carnival is yet to be announced.

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