BRASILIA – Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro said on Saturday he had tested negative for COVID-19 just under three weeks after contracting it.
The 65-year-old far right leader posted a picture on social media along with the words: “PCR for Sars-Cov-2: negative. Good day everyone.”
In the image, he was holding up a carton of hydroxychloroquine, an anti-malaria drug that the president has promoted as a treatment.
A study published on Thursday in the scientific New England Journal of Medicine, however, found no evidence of its efficacy in patients with mild and moderate cases of COVID-19.
The research conducted by a coalition of 55 medical centers with more than 660 patients, found that a hydroxychloroquine-based treatment is not only not effective against the disease, but also increases the risk of cardiac arrhythmia and other collateral harm.
Bolsonaro, who has on several occasions downplayed the severity of the pandemic, likening it to a “little cold,” tested positive for COVID-19 on July 7. He tested positive again on Wednesday.
He has been isolating at his official residence in Brasilia.
A week ago, he spoke with some party members in the gardens of his residence, where he was separated by a three-meter canal.
He has yet to confirm when he will resume official business, but most expect him to resume on Monday.
Brazil has been hammered by the coronavirus pandemic and is one of the world’s worst-affected nations, with a total of 2.3 million cases and 85,238 deaths. Only the United States has more in that regard.
The governor of Rio Grande do Sul, Eduardo Leite, announced on Friday he had tested positive for COVID-19, meaning nine regional leaders have now contracted the virus overall.
The World Health Organization recently said the outbreak in Brazil seemed to be stabilizing.