Brazil president recovers from coronavirus and meets supporters without mask to celebrate

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Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro was spotted greeting supporters without a mask after confirming he tested negative for coronavirus within days of testing positive for a third time.

The 65-year-old leader, who has previously dismissed the virus, will resume his travel schedule after isolating for weeks inside Alvorada Palace – an experience he has described as “just horrible”.

He said on July 7 he had been diagnosed with the disease – which has killed more than 87,000 Brazilians – before confirming he was Covid-free on Saturday.

It comes just three days after he tested positive on Wednesday.   

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Mr Bolsonaro posted a photo of himself with a box of the anti-malaria drug hydroxychloroquine, although this has not been proven to be an effective treatment for the virus.

The president – who has been a leading skeptic in relation to the disease – often mingled with crowds prior to his diagnosis.

He had spent many weekends since the beginning of the pandemic in close proximity to supporters, sometimes without wearing a mask.

On Thursday, he was photographed without a mask while talking to some sweepers in the garden of the presidential residence.

Shortly after announcing the negative result, the president Mr Bolsonaro greeted supporters outside a bike shop, after going for a spin around Brasilia.

He has previously claimed that his athletic past would protect him from Covid-19.

Brazil, Latin America’s largest nation, is one of the outbreak’s epicentres.

The country has 2,419,901 confirmed cases. The real numbers are believed to be higher.

Last week, two more ministers in Mr Bolsonaro’s cabinet said they had tested positive: the 65-year-old minister of citizenship, Onyx Lorenzoni, and Milton Ribeiro, the 62-year-old minister of education.

Mr Bolsonaro’s administration has completed two months without a health minister.

The interim minister, General Eduardo Pazuello, who had no experience in the field before April, is facing pressure to leave the job.

He took over after his predecessor, a doctor and health care consultant, quit in protest over Mr Bolsonaro’s support for the use of hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine, a related drug, as a treatment for Covid-19.

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