Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, who has been in quarantine for a week after testing positive for coronavirus, announced on Monday that he would be retested and that he was eager to get back to work.
Bolsonaro was speaking in a telephone interview with the television channel CNN Brasil from his official residence in Brasilia, the Alvorada Palace, where he is confined.
The far-right president said he was due to undergo a new PCR test on Tuesday. “I will wait anxiously for the result because I can’t stand this routine of staying at home, it’s horrible,” he said.
The leader posed for the press feeding emus outside the palace, his face covered with a mask.
Bolsonaro, 65, has been hostile to the containment measures taken by Brazilian state governors, insisting on the need not to keep the economy going.
He said in his interview on Monday that he felt “very well”, that he had no fever or respiratory problems, nor had he lost the taste, one of the classic symptoms of Covid-19.
Tuesday, “If all goes well, I’m going back to work. Of course, if it’s the opposite, I’ll wait a few more days,” said Bolsonaro.
“For the rest, everything else is fine, we work by videoconference all the time, and we do everything possible to make sure that things don’t pile up while I’m in Alvorada,” Bolsonaro said again.
He said last Thursday in his weekly Facebook live feed that after feeling bad he started taking a tablet of the controversial drug hydroxychloroquine every day. “I’m fine, thank God,” he said.
Hydroxychloroquine has been used for decades against malaria and is being used in many countries to combat Covid-19. But its effectiveness has not been formally proven and the issue is deeply divisive in the global scientific community.
Brazil is the second country after the United States in terms of cases of contamination and deaths related to Covid-19.
The Brazilian toll as of Monday was 1,884,967 cases and 72,833 deaths. These figures included 20,286 new cases and 733 new deaths in the last 24 hours.