Brazilian President Bolsonaro tests positive for COVID-19

WION Web Team
New Delhi, IndiaUpdated: Jul 07, 2020, 09:21 PM IST

File photo of Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro. Photograph:(AFP)

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Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro has tested positive for COVID-19

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro has tested positive for COVID-19. The leader announced the news on live television.

On Tuesday during a press briefing, Bolsonaro said that “it came back positive”, while alluding to the test.

The Brazilian leader, 65, had constantly downplayed the pandemic. Additionally, he did not adhere to any social distancing norms. 

Currently, Brazil has the second-most coronavirus cases after the United States. Over 65,000 deaths have been recorded, and over 1.5 million cases of the virus have been confirmed in the country.

When coronavirus infections were just picking up in Brazil in March, Bolsonaro claimed that he would be able to rid himself of the virus owing to his "athlete's background".

The outspoken leader started exhibiting symptoms of the virus on Monday evening, running a fever of 38 degree Celsius, accompanied by persistent cough.

He had earlier claimed that his lungs were "clean", while referring to his MRI. "I can't get very close," he said in comments recorded by Foco do Brasil, a YouTube channel. "I came from the hospital. I underwent a lung scan. The lung's clean."

Like his buddy Trump, Bolsonaro had constantly asked for a revival of the economy, not taking into account the risks it poses to the lives of citizens, especially considering how easily COVID-19 spreads among people, even though it has a low fatality rate. People with co-morbidities face a risk of dying after contracting the virus.

Currently, Brazil has no permanent health minister after the last two abruptly left owing to the spat with Bolsonaro in his handling of the virus.

Earlier, his office had claimed that the president was "in good health" at this home. Just before his diagnosis, the leader had attended a dinner with the US ambassador to Brazil, Todd Chapman, in the country's capital - Brasilia.

A CNN report claimed that Bolsonaro had been taking hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin, which were earlier claimed as effective treatments for the virus, but since then have lost all medical grounds for their usage.