Brazil’s President Bolsonaro ‘tests positive for coronavirus’ days after meeting Trump

Image credit: Palácio do Planalto

Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro has tested positive for coronavirus, according to a Fox News report.

The report quoted Bolsonaro’s son Eduardo on Friday saying further tests are being conducted to confirm the diagnosis.

A major local newspaper, Jornal O Dia, also reported the positive diagnosis, according the The Guardian Latin America reporter Tom Phillips.

Meeting with Trump

The news comes just days after Bolsonaro and several of his aides met US President Donald Trump at the Mar-A-Lago resort in Florida last weekend.

During the trip, the far right Trump ally tried to downplay media coverage of the pandemic, calling it a “fantasy.”

He said, “During the past year, obviously, we have had moments of crisis. A lot of that is fantasy. And coronavirus, which is not [what] all the mainstream media makes it out to be.”

Bolsonaro was tested soon after one of his aides, who was also on the Florida trip, tested positive on Wednesday. He was identified as Fabio Wajngarten, a communications secretary.

Highest ranking political leader to test positive

The 64-year-old Bolsonaro becomes the highest ranking political leader in the world to test positive for COVID-19 since it first broke out in China in December last year.

A White House spokesperson Stephanie Grisham said earlier this week that Trump had no plans of being tested.

“Both the President and Vice President had almost no interactions with the individual who tested positive and do not require being tested at this time,” Grisham said.

According to NBC News, there have been around 1,600 confirmed or presumptive coronavirus cases and 41 deaths so far in the US.

In South Africa, Health Minister Dr Zweli Mkhize has confirmed 24 cases so far, adding that more cases may be confirmed by the National Institute for Communicable Diseases and the National Health Laboratory Service.

122 South Africans returning from Wuhan, China, are also expected back in the country today (Friday.) They will be quarantined at the Ranch Resort in Polokwane, Limpopo, for 14-21 days.

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