- After testing negative, Bolsonaro rode on a motorcycle, shook hands, and took pictures without a mask.
- The current interim health minister is under pressure to quit his job.
- On Monday, two cabinet ministers revealed that they had tested positive for COVID-19.
The Brazilian President, Jair Bolsonaro, has announced that he has tested negative for coronavirus. He made the announcement on Saturday on social media. This is the fourth time he has been tested since July 7, when he confirmed that he had the virus. He had tested positive each of the previous three times.
Bolsonaro tested positive just three days after he had lunch at the home of the US ambassador to Brazil, Chapman Todd. He was last tested on Tuesday. The right-wing leader has quarantined at the presidential residence in Brasilia, His medical team had earlier revealed that he was in a stable condition.
After the disclosure of the negative result, the President went on a ride on a motorcycle, accompanied by his guards, as he freely mingled with citizens, shaking hands and taking photos without having his mask on.
Since his positive test result, Bolsonaro has, on a number of occasions, been seen without a mask around his workers and leaders despite being in quarantine. This is not something new because he has flouted the measures to curb the spread of the virus since it was first reported in the country.
He was seen a number of times without a mask at gatherings as he freely mingled and shook hands with people. Bolsonaro also participated in a number of anti-lockdown protests in the country. He has always been against the social distancing and lockdown measures, a stand that has seen him clash with a number of state governors and mayors.
Meanwhile, the health ministry has been faced with a lot of challenges since the pandemic broke out. The current interim health minister is under pressure to quit his job, as he is viewed as a minister who lacks the required experience in the field. Gen. Eduardo Pazuello took over the ministry after Nelson Tiech resigned, after being in office for less than a month.
Tiech took over office after Luiz Henrique Mandetta was fired on April 26. The president had criticized him publicly for urging people to observe social distance and to stay at home. Mandetta, a popular minister had criticized the president for downplaying the virus. The loss of the two health ministers who was viewed as a move that would negatively impact the ministry.
Brazil continues to experience a rise in coronavirus deaths and infections. So far, it has recorded 86,496 deaths from the virus. It is the second worst hit country, with 2.4 Million cases. Experts have continually blamed this development on the lack of national coordination in fighting the disease, adding that the pandemic has been widely politicized in the country.
The country confirmed its first case on February 26. On Monday, two cabinet ministers revealed that they had tested positive for COVID-19. The citizenship minister, Onyix Lorenzoni, and the newly-appointed education minister, Milton Ribeiro, said they were positive through social media. Now, four ministers have tested positive for COVID-19, and are currently on medication.