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Rio Calls Off Carnaval and New Year’s Celebrations Till There Is a Vaccine for Covid-19

Rio Carnaval's float - Tomaz Silva/Agência Brasil

There will be no Carnaval street parties in Rio de Janeiro next year. The decision was made during an online meeting joined by Rio de Janeiro’s tourism company Riotur Fábio Villa Flor, infectious disease specialists and representatives from reveler associations and public security agencies.

“The events related to Carnaval are directly linked to the availability of the vaccine. Without one, having street carnaval parties is impossible, nor can we have samba school parades, as the Independent Samba School League (LIESA) announced last month,” Villa Flor said.

All agreed that street parades should not take place before a safe vaccine against Covid-19 is available. “Without a vaccine, we can’t have Carnaval as we know it, as we’ve had for decades. How could we not listen to specialists? How could we not listen to all of those orchestrating the street festivities? The revelers took a very responsible stance, and I commend them for it,” Villa Flor said.

The president of Riotur noted that the pandemic is not over yet. “We’re still in the Covid-19 pandemic. Therefore, our position is: without a vaccine, we can’t estimate when Carnaval Rio 2021 may take place. We’ll be able to devise a plan and talk about dates after it’s here,” he went on to say. Officially, Carnaval next year is slated for February 15–16 (Monday and Tuesday).

Rita Fernandes, head of reveler association Bloco Sebastiana, said that, based on the assessment of health agents, chances that the entire population of Rio de Janeiro will be able to be vaccinated by July next year are scarce. “If we grant permission in the second half of the year, we can’t party. It’s too close, and, from the legal standpoint, the second half-year is not viable for us.”

Rita Fernandes reported that Bloco Sebastiana will seek alternatives such as live broadcasts and guest-only events. “Things we may have control over,” she argued.

New Year

Riotur announced that company SRCOM will be tasked with Rio’s 2021 New Year. This is the first time the event is fully financed by the private enterprise, with no funding from the city. SRCOM presented its project to Riotur at the end of October.

In a note, Riotur said the proposal brought forward by SRCOM is a perfect match for the new model adopted for the New Year this year, considering the Covid-19 pandemic.

“For the New Year, we’re having six stages spread across emblematic locations in Rio de Janeiro. However, with no audience, all areas will be isolated. The public may watch the show on television or via an online platform, like Riotur’s YouTube channel,” Riotur’s note reads.

Covid-19

The Coronavirus Dashboard of Brazil’s Health Ministry reports that another 190 people died from Covid-19 in Brazil in 24 hours, according to official figures released on November 2. This brings the death toll to 160,074 since March 27. The mortality rate stands at 76.2 cases for every 100 thousand people. The total lethality rate is 2.9 percent.

Another 10.1 thousand people have been reported with the disease. The data includes a total case count of 5.545 million cases of contamination with the novel coronavirus — 2,639 cases in every group of 100 thousand people. According to the ministry, 4.980 million people have recovered from the illness after being infected. Another 404 thousand cases are still being monitored.

The Southeast has notified 1,944 million cases of infection with Covid-19 and 72.8 thousand deaths. The region is followed by the Northeast, with 1,480 million cases and 42,2 thousand deaths. In the South, cases add up to 722.7 thousand and 14.8 thousand deaths. A total of 703.4 thousand people were infected and 15.9 thousand died in the North.

In the Central-West, the case count stands at 694.8 thousand, with deaths totaling 14.8 thousand. The worst incidence and mortality rates for every 100 thousand people are in this region: 4,263.6 people have been infected and 91.1 have died in every group of 100 thousand people.

ABr

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