The Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo Carnival parades in Brazil have been postponed due to the Covid pandemic. The authorities try to save the traditional carnival, canceled due to the infections last year. The parades of floats scheduled from February 25 to March 1 will not be canceled, but only postponed to April 21.
Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo, the two largest cities in Brazil, had already announced the suspension this year of the so-called “ru’a carnival”, animated by extras and bands that parade for free in front of millions of people on the streets. Now they have chosen to postpone the celebrations to a period in which “better health conditions are possible”. Now, a statement reads, “the municipalities of Rio and Sao Paulo have decided to postpone the parades of the samba schools” due to “the current situation of the pandemic in Brazil and the need to preserve lives”. According to estimates, at least 7 million people attended the celebrations in 2020, which also attract European and North American tourists. Last year the Sambodromo, instead of hosting floats and parades, was used as a vaccination center.
Brazil, one of the countries most affected by the Covid-19 pandemic, has registered 166,539 new coronavirus infections in the last 24 hours. This number brings the average number of cases in the last week to a record of 117,797 per day. This is the highest daily average of Covid infections since the beginning of the pandemic, 38 times higher than that recorded less than a month ago, last December 23, when, before the arrival of the Omicron variant, Brazil had seen the infections go down to 20-month lows.
The virus spreads in the Pacific, lockdowns in Samoa and Kiribati
The islands of Kiribati and Samoa entered lockdown today after a surge in infections from Covid due to arrivals from abroad that interrupted two years almost free from the pandemic. As of earlier this month, Kiribati had not reported a single case of Covid, while Samoa had only recorded two since the start of the pandemic, according to the World Health Organization. Now the authorities of both countries have been forced to implement a series of restrictive measures after dozens of passengers on a flight to Kiribati from Fiji, the first to arrive in the country since the reopening of the borders, tested positive for the virus. And in Samoa, restrictions began after cases linked to a repatriation flight from Brisbane rose to 15, Fiame Naomi Mata’afa said. The restrictions will increase starting tomorrow and all those infected, believed to be affected by the Omicron variant, have been quarantined, he added. The capital of Kiribati, which is home to nearly half of the country’s 120,000 inhabitants, will be subject to restrictions after registering its first cases among the inhabitants. The measures entered into force require residents to stay indoors except to get food or health care. It is not clear how long the lockdown will last, but a previous announcement speculated until next Thursday. According to WHO data, around 62% of Samoa’s population is fully vaccinated, while around 34% of Kiribati’s population is double vaccinated.
Ireland, on the other hand, is now abolishing almost all anti-Covid restrictions, as has already happened in the United Kingdom. Past the peak of the Omicron variant, via Green pass and distancing. It remains the obligation to wear masks at least until the end of February, the Green pass for international travel and self-isolation for those infected with symptoms.
The first case of simultaneous Covid infection and flu has been recorded in Serbia.
In Mexico, 49,906 new infections from Covid have been recorded in the last 24 hours 19 and 331 deaths. In the past four days, the country has recorded the highest number of cases since the start of the pandemic, which has so far resulted in a total of 302,721 deaths.
In Argentina there have been 118,171 new cases of Covid-19 and 161 deaths in the last 24 hours. The total number of positives at 7,694,506. The figures mark a decrease compared to the infections reported on Thursday, when 129,709 infections were reported. Meanwhile, the positivity rate reported today for the country as a whole was 68.32%.
Almost 200 coronavirus deaths have been recorded in Colombia in the past 24 hours, the highest number recorded in the past six months. The Colombian Ministry of Health confirmed this Friday 197 deaths from Covid-19 and 31,039 infections (36% positive), which lead to 5,686,065 cases of coronavirus, of which 149,462 still positive, and 131,824 total deaths. Since last August 5, when 204 people died as a result of the pandemic in the middle of the third wave, there have not been such a high number of deaths.