Brazil's Sao Paulo pushes back Carnival as coronavirus cases keep soaring

Sao Paulo, Brazil, postponed, 2021 Carnival, coronavirus, Covid-19, cases
People walk at a popular shopping street amid the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in Sao Paulo, Brazil, July 15, 2020.

Sao Paulo, Brazil - Meanwhile, President Bolsonaro doing well in polls and favourite to win re-election in 2022, despite Covid-19 handling criticism.

By Reuters

Published: Sat 25 Jul 2020, 4:18 AM

Last updated: Sat 25 Jul 2020, 6:33 AM

Sao Paulo, the biggest city in South America, postponed its 2021 Carnival celebrations on the same day that Formula One scrapped its next planned race here, underlying the enduring effects policymakers expect the coronavirus pandemic to have on Brazil.
Carnival, a traditional multi-day holiday known for its colorful parades and raucous revelry, takes places in hundreds of cities throughout Latin America's largest nation.
While the celebrations, originally scheduled for February, are more traditionally associated with Rio de Janeiro and cities in the country's north east, Sao Paulo's Carnival has grown significantly in recent years.
In a Friday news conference, Sao Paulo Mayor Bruno Covas said possible revised dates included late May and July. June was unlikely, he said, as the separate festival of Sao Joao do Nordeste is scheduled for that month.
Earlier in the day, Formula One officials scrapped the November 2020 race in Sao Paulo, along with the body's three other stops in the Americas, citing the coronavirus pandemic.
Brazil registered another 1,156 coronavirus deaths in the last 24 hours, the Health Ministry said on Friday, bringing the total death toll to 85,238. There are now over 2.3 million confirmed cases in Brazil, making it one of the hardest hit nations in the world.

Bolsonaro thriving in polls despite Covid-19 handling criticism

Meanwhile, polls released this week show gains for President Jair Bolsonaro, putting him as favourite to win re-election in 2022 despite his controversial handling of Brazil's raging coronavirus crisis.
The far-right leader, who is himself currently infected with the virus, has downplayed the pandemic even as it has exploded in Brazil, the country with the most infections and deaths from Covid-19 anywhere in the world except the United States.
But this week's polls suggest the man dubbed the "Tropical Trump" is weathering the crisis relatively well.
The latest, published Friday by news magazine Veja, puts the far-right leader comfortably ahead in the first round of the presidential election, with 27.5 to 30.7 percent of the vote, depending on his opponents.
Bolsonaro would easily win the second round against any opponent, even his popular ex-justice minister turned nemesis, Sergio Moro, or leftist former president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, the poll found.
A poll published Thursday by news site Poder360 meanwhile put Bolsonaro's approval rating at 43 per cent, up from 40 per cent two weeks ago.
His disapproval rating fell one point, to 46 per cent, it found.
Poder360 said the president's approval rating was 52 per cent among beneficiaries of the government's monthly coronavirus emergency relief checks of 600 reals (Dh422), which aim to help poor Brazilians suffering the economic impact of coronavirus stay-at-home measures.
Bolsonaro is a fierce critic of those measures, arguing the economic pain is worse than the virus itself.
Another poll, published Monday by brokerage firm XP Investimentos, put Bolsonaro's approval rating at 30 per cent, up from 25 per cent in May.
It put his disapproval rating at 45 per cent, down from 50 per cent in May.

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