Carnivals cancelled across Brazil

Funds used for Carnival celebrations are being diverted to fight dengue fever. Photo / 123RF
Funds used for Carnival celebrations are being diverted to fight dengue fever. Photo / 123RF

At least 48 cities in eight states across Brazil have cancelled their carnivals due to the recession, which has eroded municipalities' financial resources, media reports say.

Cities in the states of Goias, Minas Gerais, Paraiba, Rio de Janeiro, Rio Grande do Norte, Rondonia and Tocantins decided at the last minute to scrap their carnivals to save money needed for other programs, the G1 news website says.

Other cities, the majority of them in the interior of Sao Paulo state, cancelled carnival celebrations, considered the biggest festivals of the year, electing to use the funds in the fight against dengue, whose cases have spiked in the past year, along with chikungu'a and zika cases.

All three diseases are spread by the Aedes aegypti mosquito.

Other municipalities in Sao Paulo are using funds initially intended for carnivals to deal with the damage caused by the recent torrential rains that hit parts of the state.

Even cities still planning to hold carnivals are scaling back the celebrations due to the severe economic downturn in Brazil.

Brazil's gross domestic product, according to analysts, will contract 2.99 per cent in 2016 after falling 3.71 per cent in 2015, while the inflation rate is expected to top 10 per cent.

- AAP

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