First hug in five months

This poignant image, which captures 85-year-old Rosa Luzia Lunardi being embraced by nurse Adriana Silva da Costa Souza - the first hug she had received in five months - was selected as the World Press Photo of the Year on Thursday.

The winning image was taken by photographer Mads Nissen at the Viva Bem care home in Sao Paulo last August.

In March last year, care homes across Brazil closed their doors to visitors because of the Covid-19 pandemic, preventing many Brazilians from visiting their elderly relatives.

Carers were ordered to keep physical contact with the vul-nerable to an absolute minimum. But at Viva Bem, a simple invention called The Hug Curtain allowed people to hug one another once again.

Mr Nissen said about his photo: "To me, this is a story about hope and love in the most difficult times. When I learnt about the crisis that was unfolding in Brazil and the poor leadership of President (Jair) Bolsonaro, who has been neglecting this virus from the very beginning, who has been calling it 'a small flu', I really felt an urge to do something about it."


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