For the second year in a row, the Rio de Janeiro authorities they suspended the realization of the famous street carnival from the city, due to the exponential rise in covid-19 cases in recent days, which is enhanced by the penetration of the omicron variant and the end of the year parties.
Amid the repercussions of the announcement, the local state tried to neutralize the impact of the measure by imposing restrictions especially on the massive parades. “The street carnival in the way that it was carried out until 2020 will not take place in 2022″ Said the mayor of Rio, Eduardo Paes, in a live broadcast on social networks.
Paes made the announcement after a meeting with representatives of the musical Corsicans (‘blocos’) that participate in the carnival, according to the AFP agency. The president stated that there are large difficulties to control this celebration in a moment of rise in infections.
The parades of the samba ‘escolas’, which take place in a more controlled environment within the Sambadrome, for the moment remain until the end of February. “The street carnival, by its very nature and democratic character, makes any type of control impossible”Paes added.
It is the second consecutive year that the pandemic forces to suspend Rio’s street carnival, a succession of open-air parties behind ‘blocos’ that go through the city dragging crowds, scheduled between February 25 and March 1.
Seeking a more controlled environment, alternatives are analyzed from different points of view. For example, it was proposed to carry out events during February in three different spaces of the cityPaes commented. But that proposal was not accepted by the blocos. “They agreed to make a counterproposal,” he explained.
“We do not have identification with the proposed places, such as the Olympic Park, which is far away and has no relationship with us like our neighborhoods“Rita Fernandes, president of the association of ‘blocos’ Sebastiana, representative of several of these groups, told AFP.
Reportedly on friday there will be a new meeting to try to reach an agreement. For her, the ‘blocos’ will carry “a more decentralized proposal”, He explained.“ We are very sad, but since it is not possible, we adapt to science. The carnival is not going to happen without celebration ”, assured Fernandes.
At the 2020 carnival, the last before the pandemic, some 7 million partiers participated in the street parades, the largest of them up to a million people, according to the Mayor’s Office tourism agency, Riotur.
After the arrival of the omicron variant and due to the Holidays, several cities in Brazil register an increase in covid cases, including Rio. Brazil accumulates 620,000 deaths from covid since the start of the pandemic.
With information from AFP