The Independent League of Samba Schools of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (LIESA) has decided to postpone traditional Carnival processions to a later date while Brazil grapples with world’s second-deadliest COVID-19 outbreak.
Brazil is dealing with the world’s worst outbreak of COVID-19 after the United States, and the Rio Carnival would pose a huge risk: an extended festival of tightly packed crowds dancing through the streets and flocking to the city’s iconic “Sambadrome” for enormous parades and all-night partying.
The head of the association, Jorge Castaneiro, announced the league’s decision at recent press-conference.
According to him, it is still premature to talk about alternative dates for the carnival, since there is no information about when the vaccine will be available in Brazil and when immunization will be carried out.
“It’s increasingly difficult to have Carnival without a vaccine. There is no way to have Carnival without safety.”
Castaneiro noted that initially the parade was planned to be held in February, but in this situation it is not possible.
“There are forecasts according to which safe conditions for this will appear only from April on,” added the head of Liesa.
Brazil has diagnosed 4.66 million cases of COVID-19 and infections and nearly 140,000 deaths from COVID-19, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.
An average of nearly 30,000 new cases and 735 new deaths have been recorded each day over the past two weeks, according to its health ministry figures.