Brazil President Jair Bolsonaro tests positive for Covid-19 after feeling unwell

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Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, seen during a ceremony last month in Brasilia, has announced his coronavirus test results. IMAGE COURTESY

Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro has tested positive for coronavirus.

He took the test, his fourth, on Monday after developing symptoms, including a high temperature.

Mr Bolsonaro has repeatedly played down the risks posed by the virus, calling it “a little flu” and saying that he would not be seriously affected by it.

He has also urged regional governors to ease lockdowns, which he says hurt the economy, and on Monday he watered down regulations on wearing face masks.

Back in April, he said that even if he were to be infected with the virus, he would “not have to worry as I wouldn’t feel anything, at most it would be like a little flue or a little cold”.

When he made the remark, the number of Covid-19-related deaths was still under 3,000 and the number of infections was around 40,000.

But the numbers have skyrocket since then. As of Monday, the number of deaths was over 65,000 and infections were over 1.6m, second only to the United States.

Despite the rising numbers, President Bolsonaro has argued that regional lockdowns are having a more damaging effect than the virus itself, and accused the media of spreading panic and paranoia.

It is not the first time Mr Bolsonaro has been tested for coronavirus. He has had three previous tests, which he says were all negative.