If Brazil is thinking about Carnival, the vaccine passport is urgent, says microbiologist

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Microbiologist Natalia Pasternak told CNN this Monday (6) that Brazil needs the passport for the “urgent” Covid-19 vaccine, especially if the country “is thinking about Carnival parties” for next year.

“The biggest unknown I see for next year is the vaccine passport to enter Brazil. Carnival is an international festival that attracts a lot of tourism. Do we want Brazil to become an anti-vaccination tourist destination, for people who do not want to get vaccinated and will look at the country saying ‘wow, it doesn’t require a vaccine passport, let’s all go there’?”, he asked.

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“We need the vaccine passport urgently, especially if we are thinking of Carnival parties next year. We have a new variant circulating and we don’t know much about it, whether it’s more transmissible than Delta, whether it escapes vaccines and how much they escape.”

Survey disclosed by CNN this Monday (6) shows that at least four Brazilian capitals have decided that the Carnival party will not be held in 2022 due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

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Bethlehem, Large field, Cuiabá e Teresina decided not to hold events in the period.

The researcher stressed, however, that the vaccine passport should not be the only tool to prevent the transmission of the virus and the circulation of the new strain in the country. She also stated that analyzing the current situation in Brazil “it is too early to have an agglomeration party like Carnival”.

“You won’t be able to put barriers like showing a vaccination card at a street party. There is no way to check if everyone is”, he said. “In addition to a vaccine passport, we need testing, genomic surveillance, and we need real rules for international travel. Whether it’s a requirement for testing, vaccines, quarantine, and not a closure of borders that ends up becoming theater, because that doesn’t solve it. I think we had enough time in the pandemic to see that closing the border does not hold viruses.”

According to her, the measures decreed by the federal government even end up “punishing specific countries” without having a real “justification”.

“We even ended up punishing countries like South Africa, which did an excellent genomic surveillance service, and an excellent service by quickly reporting to the World Health Organization (WHO) leaving the world on alert knowing what to look for [variante Ômicron]”, evaluated.

“Thanks to South Africa the world knew what to look for, this new variant. And U.S [Brasil] answer how? Punishing the African country with sanitary barriers to a variant that perhaps didn’t even appear there, but that was detected thanks to a good service”.

The mayor of Belém, Edmilson Rodrigues (PSOL), decided to cancel the Carnival parties in 2022, after a meeting with representatives of the Municipal Health Department. The decision, released on November 30, covers the parades of schools, street blocks and other street cultural events.

In Campo Grande, the Carnival parties were canceled by Mayor Marquinhos Trad (PSD). Clubs, associations and private spaces are authorized, however, to hold events, following biosafety guidelines.

On December 1st, the Mayor of Cuiabá, Emanuel Pinheiro (MDB), informed that he will issue decrees prohibiting the holding of public and private parties related to Carnival, due to the emergence of the Ômicron variant.

The city of Teresina, informed that it will not have a calendar of Carnival celebrations in 2022. Mayor José Pessoa Leal (MDB) will follow the guidelines of the Emergency Operations Committee (COE) of the city, which assesses the pandemic scenario.

Reference: CNN Brasil

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