Brazil’s Bolsonaro tests positive for coronavirus again

BRASÍLIA • Brazil President Jair Bolsonaro announced on Wednesday he still has the coronavirus, after undergoing a new test the day before.

“I’m fine, thank God. On Wednesday morning, I took the test, and in the evening the result was that I am still positive for the coronavirus,” the far-right leader said in a Facebook Live broadcast from the gardens of his official residence in Brasilia.

Bolsonaro said he is not experiencing symptoms and his use of the antimalarial drug hydroxychloroquine, which he said he has been taking since he was diagnosed last week, is working.

“I am not recommending anything. I recommend that you talk to your doctor. In my case, a military doctor recommended hydroxychloroquine, and it worked,” he said.

The presidential press office said in a brief statement that Bolsonaro, who at 65 is in a high-risk group, will remain in quarantine at the official Alvorada Palace residence, where he will continue to work by video conference.

He admitted on Monday by telephone interview with CNN that he “can’t stand this routine of staying at home” and said he was waiting “anxiously” to be given the all-clear to leave the house.

The drug has been pushed as a treatment for Covid-19 in many countries — but its effectiveness has not been formally proven and the issue is deeply dividing the global scientific community. He is due to take a new test “in the coming days”.

Since his diagnosis on July 7, Bolsonaro has been confined to the presidential palace alongside other people who have already contracted the virus.

It’s a far cry from his regular daily routine that includes leaving the residence to greet his supporters, often while ignoring social- distancing measures and without wearing a face mask.

Brazil is the second worst-hit country in the world by the coronavirus after the US, with more than 74,000 dead and 1.9 million cases (at press time). — AFP