Coronavirus: Rio 2021 carnival parade postponed indefinitely

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The carnival parade in Rio de Janeiro, which is due to take place next February, has been postponed indefinitely, according to the organizers.

The samba schools participating in the parade had previously warned that it would be difficult to organize without a vaccine.

The Rio Carnival attracts millions of visitors every year.

Brazil was one of the countries hardest hit by the pandemic, with 4.5 million infections and more than 138,000 deaths.

Jorge Castanheira, president of the Liesa Samba League, said schools did not have time to prepare for or organize the February event.

“We are looking for an alternative solution that we can do if it is safe to contribute to the city, but we are not sure enough to set a date,” he said.

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The announcement applies to Liesa’s formal carnival event, but not the local street festivals that are held at the same time. It is currently unclear whether these may take place.

There are concerns that the economic impact of the belated Carnival in Brazil could hit families whose income depends on the events. Tourism accounts for around 8% of Brazil’s GDP.

The carnival parade in São Paulo has already been delayed by eight months until October 2021.

Brazil still registers thousands of new infections every day. As of Thursday, the country recorded 32,817 cases and 831 deaths.

At the opening of the UN assembly earlier this week, President Jair Bolsonaro declined criticism of his handling of the pandemic.

In a recorded speech, the media accused of causing panic and “politicizing” the pandemic.

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