Brazil's Bolsonaro sticks to travel plan despite 'mold' in lungs

Lisandra Paraguassu
·1-min read
Brazil's President Jair Bolsonaro gestures as he prepares to ride a motorcycle, amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, in Brasilia

By Lisandra Paraguassu

BRASILIA (Reuters) - Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro made a scheduled visit to the south of the country on Friday, after revealing the night before that he is taking antibiotics for a lung infection.

Bolsonaro has previously tested positive three times for the coronavirus, but, according to one source, doctors accompanying him on the trip have not linked the lung infection to COVID-19.

Bolsonaro is one of a handful of world leaders to have tested positive for coronavirus. British Prime Minister Boris Johnson was rushed into intensive care in April, and took several weeks to fully recover.

Having spent most of July self-isolating at his official residence in Brasilia, Bolsonaro said on Saturday that his last coronavirus test was negative.

However, a week back into his normal schedule, the president said in his weekly live broadcast on Thursday that he felt weak and the test results revealed an infection.

"I just had a blood test, you know, I had a little weakness yesterday, they even found a little bit of infection too. I'm on antibiotics now. ... After 20 days indoors, I have other problems. I have mold in my lungs," he said.

His wife, Michelle Bolsonaro, tested positive on Thursday, according to a statement from the presidential palace. Science and Technology Minister Marcos Pontes also tested positive for the virus, making him the fifth Cabinet minister diagnosed publicly.

Despite his lung infection, Bolsonaro on Thursday visited the states of Bahia and Piauí, which both boast warm weather. On Friday, he traveled to the southern state of Rio Grande do Sul, where temperatures at this time of year are much cooler.

(Reporting by Lisandra Paraguassu; Writing by Jamie McGeever; Editing by Jonathan Oatis)