Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro has been infected with the corona virus. The head of state said on Tuesday after a positive test in a military hospital in the capital Brasilia. According to media reports, the head of state had previously shown symptoms: he had a fever and body aches. On Monday, contrary to his custom, he wore a mask and advised a trailer not to approach him.
Brazil is currently one of the focal points of the corona pandemic alongside the USA. To date, 1.6 million people have been shown to be infected with the coronavirus in the largest country in Latin America, 64 867 patients have died in connection with the lung disease Covid-19. Experts assume that the actual numbers are significantly higher, since only very little testing is carried out in Brazil.
The Brazilian government has played down the pandemic from the start. President Bolsonaro repeatedly referred to the coronavirus as “light flu” and resisted protective measures. The right-wing leader feared the economic damage of a lockdown. Again and again he appeared in public without a face mask, triggered mass casseroles and took selfies with followers.
At the weekend, too, Bolsonaro was again a lot among people, sometimes without a mask: On Saturday, he attended a meal at the US embassy together with several ministers and one of his sons on the occasion of American Independence Day. He also flew to the state of Santa Catarina to get an idea of the situation after the severe storms.
In the dispute over the right size of the pandemic, two health ministers have already thrown in the towel. Most recently, Bolsonaro vetoed a mask requirement in closed spaces such as churches, shops and schools.
A number of states and cities have taken protective measures on their own, but restrictions are already being relaxed in many places. In the metropolis of Rio de Janeiro, for example, restaurants and bars have already opened again, and numerous people are already romping on the beach promenade on Copacabana.