Samba schools say no event can take place as Brazil grapples with the world’s second deadliest COVID-19 outbreak.

The world famous Rio de Janeiro Carnival Parade, the samba schools that are organizing the event announced on Thursday, has been postponed as the country grapples with the world’s second deadliest coronavirus outbreak.

Samba schools in Rio de Janeiro announced that they would postpone Carnival in February 2021 due to COVID-19 and said it would likely not take place until a vaccine was found.

“We came to the conclusion that the event had to be postponed,” said Jorge Castanheira, president of the group that organizes the annual parades, the Independent League of Samba Schools in Rio de Janeiro (LIESA).

“It’s getting harder and harder to have Carnival without a vaccine. There is no carnival without security. “

Brazil is facing the world’s worst outbreak of COVID-19 after the United States, and the Carnival in Rio would pose a great risk: an extensive festival of crowded crowds dancing through the streets and for huge parades to the legendary “Sambadrome” flock to the city and party all night.

The festival draws millions of local and international tourists to the beach town each year.

LIESA’s announcement only applies to the samba school competition, in which the 13 best samba schools in the country are participating. Carnival also includes many other events, including less formal street parties (“bloco”). The city administration has not yet announced whether they will be approved.

There has been speculation that authorities would have to cancel or postpone Carnival in 2021 as Brazil is still struggling to get the virus under control.

Brazil has diagnosed 4.66 million cases of COVID-19 and infections and nearly 140,000 deaths from COVID-19, according to Johns Hopkins University.

In the past two weeks, an average of nearly 30,000 new cases and 735 new deaths per day have been recorded, according to the health ministry.

After Sao Paulo, Rio de Janeiro was the hardest hit state.

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