Rio de Janeiro has cancelled for the second time in a row its famous Carnival street parades due to surge in omicron cases.
“We had a meeting today with the people from the ‘street parties’, and we informed them that the street carnival, which didn’t take place in 2021, cannot happen (again) this year due to the epidemiological data that we have, ” announced Rio’s mayor Eduardo Paes, in a live internet broadcast.
1. The Carnival
Rio de Janeiro’s Carnival is the largest in the world. Every year, it attracts millions of tourists from around Brazil and the entire world to the beachside city.
In normal times, Rio’s elite samba schools would spend the entire year preparing their parades and shows for the celebration. But this year, it has been impossible for them to operate due to social distancing measures. In July, the schools have declared that it would be difficult to organize next February’s event if they weren’t able to practice the dance together by September.
Last time that the Brazilian Carnival was suspended was 1912, following the death of the foreign relations minister. During that year, the mayor of Rio postponed by two months the licenses for the samba schools’ Carnival parties.
The street carnival, by its very nature, due to the democratic aspect it has, makes it impossible to exercise any kind of inspection.Eduardo Paes, Mayor of Rio de Janeiro
2. Covid-19 in Brazil
Currently, Brazil is the second country in the world in terms of coronavirus death rate. So far, the country has registered 22.3 million infections and nearly 620,000 deaths.
In July 2021 a peak was registered. Since then, the spread of the virus has slowed slightly down, but the numbers of cases and deaths are still significantly higher than the global average. Last January 5, Brazil’s health ministry reported 18,759 new cases of Covid-19 and 175 deaths. Furthermore, 170 cases of Omicron had been confirmed in the country.