Brasilia: Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro again tested positive for the new coronavirus. His office announced on Wednesday that he would extend the two-week quarantine period and suspend upcoming travel. plan.
The far-right leader has been criticized for underestimating the epidemic and contempt for social distancing measures. He has been self-isolating at the Presidential Palace in Brasilia since he first tested positive for the virus on July 7.
His office said in a statement: “President Zal Bolsonaro’s health continues to improve under the treatment of the President’s medical team.”
“A (new coronavirus) test carried out yesterday on the president came back positive.”
Bolsonaro, 65, compared the virus to a “small flu” and slammed the measures at home and other guidelines from public health officials.
Before being infected, he often went to the streets of Brasilia without wearing a mask, exchanging hugs and shaking hands with supporters, and urging the largest country in Latin America to resume work despite the rapid spread of the epidemic.
Since testing positive after fever and fatigue, he has been working at a teleconference held at the Presidential Palace Alvorada Palace-he admitted last week that he was “untenable”.
His office told AFP that after the latest positive test result (the third time since infection), Bolsonaro has postponed his trip to the northeastern states of Piaui and Bahia “indefinitely”. travel.
On Sunday, Bolsonaro greeted supporters at his residence, separated by a reflecting pool about two meters (six and a half feet) wide.
He took off his mask to talk to them and proudly held up a box of hydroxychloroquine. He was taking anti-malaria drugs to fight the infection.
Although scientific evidence shows that Bolsonaro and his admired US President Donald Trump touted the drug as a treatment for COVID-19, although the drug is not effective against the coronavirus.
Bolsonaro s hydroxychloroquine box-brandishing incident was “deplorable,” said respiratory specialist Margareth Dalcomo, of Brazil s leading public-health institute, Fiocruz.
“This politicization of the drug by the US and Brazilian presidents for murky reasons has no justification, and it deceives people,” she told AFP.
“It has been proven this drug has no effect against COVID-19…. And it has potentially serious side-effects.”
Brazil is the second worst hit by the pandemic after the United States. It has recorded nearly 2.2 million infections and more than 80,000 deaths.