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Brazil's Bolsonaro takes virus test after showing symptoms

Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro, who has long minimized the risks posed by the coronavirus, said Monday he had been tested after showing symptoms including a fever.

Brazil's Bolsonaro takes virus test after showing symptoms
In this file photo taken on March 20, 2020 Brazil's President Jair Bolsonaro wears a face mask during a press conference on the coronavirus pandemic COVID-19 at the Planalto Palace in Brasilia, Brazil. Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro announced to CNN Brazil, on July 6, 2020, that he underwent a test on suspicion of coronavirus and that the results will come out tomorrow. AFP
Bolsonaro told CNN Brazil that he underwent an X-ray of his lungs at a military hospital as a precaution. Local media said the virus test results would come at about midday Tuesday.

He also said he was taking hydroxychloroquine as a preventive measure.

Local media said the 65-year-old Bolsonaro had cleared his schedule for the week. 

AFP contacted Bolsonaro's office for a comment, but his aides did not immediately respond.

Since the beginning of the virus outbreak, Bolsonaro has minimized the risks of what he initially called "a little flu" and flouted social distancing rules and containment measures, such as wearing a mask in public.

Brazil is the second worst-hit country in the world by the pandemic, with more than 65,000 deaths and more than 1.6 million cases.

He had been tested three times previously -- all came back negative.

On Monday, the far-right leader made more changes to weaken a law requiring that face masks be worn in public places in order to slow the spread of the coronavirus.

He had already watered down the bill Friday by vetoing several articles, including ones requiring employers to supply face masks for their staff and another mandating that public authorities should provide face coverings for "economically vulnerable people."

Now he has also vetoed articles requiring masks be worn in prisons and another obliging business to provide information on how to wear masks properly.

Some states have already made the wearing of masks mandatory, but this was the first such law on a national level.

On Saturday, Bolsonaro published photos on social media in which he is seen without a face mask at a lunch with the US ambassador and several ministers celebrating the July 4th holiday.

Since he was in a private residence, he did not break the new law -- but that didn't spare him from an avalanche of criticism on social media for not providing a good example.

Topics: Jair Bolsonaro , coronavirus pandemic , test , virus outbreak
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