85-year-old Rosa Luzia Lunardi is embraced by nurse Adriana Silva da Costa Souza, the first hug she receives in five months. In March, care homes across the country closed their doors to all visitors, preventing millions of concerned Brazilians from visiting their elderly relatives, while the caretakers were ordered to limit all physical contact with the vulnerable to an absolute minimum. But at Viva Bem, an old age home outside Sao Paulo, a simple new invention ‘The Hug Curtain’ has once again allowed people to see and hug each other without risking their lives. And for those who do not have visitors, volunteers and staff are ready to step in – because, as they say at Viva Bem : “Everyone deserves a good hug”. Brazil has one of the the world’s highest rates of COVID-19 infections and a staggering death toll of more than 260.000 people (March 2021).
Here you can see all the winning images of the 2021 edition of World Press Photo.