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Brazil President Jair Bolsonaro Tests Positive for Coronavirus

Jair Bolsonaro had previously downplayed the seriousness of the novel coronavirus

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Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro has tested positive for COVID-19. He shared the news on Tuesday adding that he was in good health. Jair Bolsonaro had previously downplayed the seriousness of the novel coronavirus, calling it a “little flu”. However, the president has now tested positive after exhibiting symptoms.

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In the interview, which was broadcast on state-run TV Brasil, Jair Bolsonaro stated that he had begun to feel ill on Sunday. He added that the symptoms got worse on Monday as he experienced “tiredness, illness and a fever of 38 degrees”. Moreover, he also stated that he has been taking hydroxychloroquine, an anti-malarial drug with unproven effectiveness against COVID-19.

However, he insisted that he was feeling “good, calm”. He even took off his face mask to emphasize the point.

“Life goes on. We’re going to take care, particularly of old people and those with illnesses that are a risk factor,” he added.

Brazil is the world’s second most affected country due to the COVID-19 outbreak, behind the United States. Currently, there are more than 1.6 million confirmed cases and 65,000 COVID-19 deaths.

Despite this, Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro has repeatedly neglected the local guideline to wear a mask in public. In addition, he has also railed against the social distancing norms outlined by the World Health Organization.

Bolsonaro attended several events over the weekend. He was also in close contact with U.S. Ambassador Todd Chapman during the July 4 celebrations. Pictures show that neither of them wore a mask.

The U.S. embassy in Brasilia said via Twitter on Monday that the ambassador had lunch with Mr Bolsonaro and others on 4 July. It added that the ambassador had no symptoms but that he would undergo testing.

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