The city of Rio de Janeiro finally decided to suspend its traditional and multitudinous New Year’s party before the arrival of the Ómicron variant of coronavirus in Brazil, a measure taken by most of the capitals of the country and that adds doubts about the celebration of the famous Rio Carnival.
The announcement was made this Saturday the mayor of Rio, Eduardo Paes, On twitter. He added that he made “with sadness” the decision to cancel the classic festivities with music and fireworks, which each year gather around three million people on Copacabana beach, at not having “the guarantee of the health authorities”.
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For now, there are confirmed six cases of the new strain in Brazil: three in Sao Paulo, two in Brasilia and one in Porto Alegre.
“We respect science. As are divergent opinions between scientific committees, we will always keep the most restrictive one. The Mayor’s Committee says it can. The one from the State says no. Then you can’t, ”added the mayor, after a week of debates among the Rio de Janeiro authorities.
Brazil closed its air borders from Monday to six countries in Africa (South Africa, Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Namibia and Zimbabwe). On Thursday, Paes expanded the requirement of the health passport, adding the requirement to enter beauty salons, restaurants, bars and hotels.
Friday was Sao Paulo, the most populous city in Brazil, which canceled end-of-year celebrations, which brings together two million people on the iconic Avenida Paulista. In total, a score of capitals (out of 27), including Brasilia and Salvador, made the same decision, which entails large economic losses.
The Carioca Carnival is in doubt due to the reaction of the authorities to the advance of the Ómicron variant
As the cases of the Omicron variant multiply in the world and the main Brazilian cities announce prevention measures, the doubts about the realization of the famous Carioca carnival, especially the one in Rio de Janeiro, considered one of the biggest parties on the planet.
“Three months to go for Carnival (…). I always follow science. I hope we don’t have to cancel Also the Carnival ”, declared Paes in the press conference.
The mayor has spent weeks determining the realization of this party, between February 25 and March 1, to the epidemiological situation in Brazil, which has improved substantially in recent months along with the advance of vaccination (63% of the 213 million Brazilians are fully vaccinated).
Until otherwise stated, the samba schools of Rio de Janeiro continue their rehearsals and the elaboration of thousands of costumes, masks and the characteristic giant floats that last year were no longer suspended due to the coronavirus.
The scientific Comittee of the nine northeastern states of Brazil recommended on Friday that nor celebrate the festivities Carnival in that area, among which there are several famous ones, such as those of Salvador, Recife and Olinda.