Jair Bolsonaro: Brazil’s far-right leader struck down with pneumonia infection

New president’s fever began after routine hospital trip to remove colostomy bag

Tim Wyatt
Friday 08 February 2019 10:26
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Jair Bolsonaro in hospital, where he is being treated for pneumonia
Jair Bolsonaro in hospital, where he is being treated for pneumonia

Brazil‘s recently elected president Jair Bolsonaro is in semi-intensive care after being struck down with pneumonia.

The far-right leader, who took office in January, first went to hospital to remove a colostomy bag, which was put in place after he was stabbed in the stomach during the election campaign.

He had been expected to only spend a few days in hospital, but doctors said he then developed a fever and pneumonia-like symptoms.

“He underwent a tomography of the chest and abdomen that showed a good evolution of the intestinal frame and images compatible with pneumonia,” a statement from the Albert Einstein hospital in Sao Paolo said.

Mr Bolsonaro’s spokesman said the president was now expected to remain in hospital until next week and he was being treated in the semi-intensive care unit with a 38C fever.

But the controversial president has reassured Brazilians he is not seriously unwell.

In a tweet he said: “Be careful not to be sensationalist. We are very relaxed, well and remain steady.”

Doctors said although Mr Bolsonaro was not able to eat solid food, he was doing walking exercises and was not in pain.

The presidential spokesman also said the 63-year-old was looking forward to a meal of steak and chips when he was discharged.

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Under the Brazilian constitution, the vice president, retired general Hamilton Mourao, would step in should Mr Bolsonaro be unable to carry out his duties.

Despite once serving with Mr Bolsonaro in the military when the president was also a soldier, Mr Mourao has already clashed with him over several issues.

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