WORLD NEWS
03/19/2020 12:42 EDT | Updated 03/19/2020 12:51 EDT

Brazil's Christ The Redeemer Statue Shines In Solidarity With Coronavirus Victims

The Rio de Janeiro landmark lit up with flags of the countries impacted by the spread of COVID-19.

Brazil’s famous Christ the Redeemer statue was illuminated on Wednesday night as a beacon of solidarity with the world’s coronavirus victims.

Flags and maps of the countries impacted by the fast-spreading coronavirus strain were projected onto the 125-foot-tall statue in Rio de Janeiro. The hashtag #praytogether, translated into several languages, was also displayed on the monument. 

The Chico Mendes Institute, a federal agency linked to Brazil’s Ministry of the Environment, is in charge of the park where the statue is located. The institute closed the landmark and other national parks it oversees at the end of the day on Tuesday in an effort to combat the spread of COVID-19, the illness resulting from the new coronavirus. 

FLORIAN PLANCHEUR via Getty Images
Flags of the countries affected by the spread of the new coronavirus are projected on the Christ the Redeemer statue in Rio de Janeiro on March 18, 2020.

The country has almost 300 cases of COVID-19, with the largest cluster in São Paulo, Reuters reports. Brazil confirmed its first death from the outbreak on Tuesday ― a 62-year-old man from São Paulo with a history of diabetes and hypertension.

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro said Tuesday that he is asking the legislature to authorize a national state of emergency to direct more money toward protecting the economy and bolstering health care systems.

After São Paulo, the second-largest number of confirmed cases is in Rio, the Associated Press reports.

Almost 2 million tourists visited the Christ the Redeemer statue last year, AP noted. Completed in 1931, the monument towers over Rio from the summit of Mount Corcovado.

The site will remain closed for at least one week.

FLORIAN PLANCHEUR via Getty Images
Messages calling for prayer are projected on the Christ the Redeemer statue in Rio on March 18, 2020.

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