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Coronavirus Delays Rio de Janeiro’s Annual Carnival Parade

Carnival parade floats sit unfinished in the Unidos de Padre Miguel samba school workshop, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Sept. 21, 2020.

Rio de Janeiro is postponing February's annual Carnival parade for the first time in a century because of Brazil’s ongoing struggle to contain the coronavirus.

Rio’s League of Samba Schools (LIESA) announced Thursday night that the spread of the coronavirus has made it impossible to safely hold parades and events, which are the financial lifeblood of many participants.

Jorge Castanheir, president of LIESA, said schools will not have the time or the financial and organizational capabilities to make the Carnival parade possible for February.

Castanheir did not give an alternate date for the parade but said it will depend on whether a vaccine is available and if there will be immunizations.

So far, the Rio city government has not announced whether the Carnival street parties will be held.

Brazil has the highest tally of coronavirus infections in Latin America with more than 4.6 million cases and nearly 140,000 deaths.