The President of Brazil, Jair Bolsonaro, has tested positive for the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).
Mr Bolsonaro, who has repeatedly downplayed the pandemic threat, by calling the virus “little flu,” made the announcement on Brazilian television on Tuesday.
He is now one of the world leaders, senior government officials and politicians who have contracted the virus. The list include United Kingdom Prime Minister Boris Johnson and German Chancellor, Angela Merkel.
Mr Bolsonaro had his COVID-19 first test in March after his press secretary, Fabio Wajngarten, tested positive for Covid-19 during a visit to the US where the president and his entourage had met with the U.S. president Donald Trump.
Mr Bolsonaro said he took the test, his fourth, on Monday after developing symptoms, including a high temperature.
BBC reported that after Mr Bolsonaro announced his positive result to the media, he stepped back and removed his mask before continuing to speak.
Nobody is immune
The confirmation that the Brazil’s President has tested positive for COVID-19 shows that the disease can affect anyone, WHO Executive Director, Michael Ryan, said.
Mr Bolsonaro, in June, had threatened to withdraw from the organisation following the step of US president, Donald Trump, over failing to enact reforms in the face of U.S. concerns over its handling of the coronavirus pandemic and that it put too much faith in information from China.
“I think it brings home for us all the reality of this virus. No one is special in that regard. We are all potentially exposed to this virus.
“The virus does not really know who we are. Whether we are prince or pauper, we are equally vulnerable.” Mr Ryan said.
WHO chief, Tedros Ghebreyesus, also said the new coronavirus is “public enemy number one”, and noted that “It’s very important to understand the seriousness of this virus and to be really serious.
“No country is immune, and no country is safe. And no individual can be safe”, he said.
Both Messrs Ryan and Ghebreyesus wished Mr. Bolsonaro a speedy recovery.