220122 Carnival
A member of the Mocidade samba school takes a picture during a rehearsal amid the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), before the carnival parade in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, January 16, 2022. Image Credit: AFP

Rio de Janeiro: The Brazilian cities of Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo announced on Friday they are postponing colourful Carnival parades to the end of April, due to an increase in COVID-19 cases as Omicron spreads through the country.

Both cities had already canceled their Carnival street parties, but were still considering having their samba school parades at the end of February. They will now hold the event in late-April, the two cities said in a joint statement.

“Unfortunately we do not have the sanitary conditions to hold Carnival on the date that was planned,” Rio’s Health Secretary Daniel Soranz told journalists.

Brazil is currently experiencing its peak of new COVID-19 cases, with an average of almost 120,000 cases daily in the last seven days, due to the advance of Omicron.