Brazil’s Health Minister Marcelo Queiroga tested “positive for COVID-19” after attending the UN General Assembly in New York on Tuesday, opened by President Jair Bolsonaro, according to an official statement from the South American country.
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“The other members of the delegation have been evaluated and are negative,” said the press release from the Special Secretariat for Communication of Brazil (Secom).
Jair Bolsonaro, who has shown himself without a mask on several occasions during the trip, has not been vaccinated against COVID-19 and has reiterated that he would be “the last” Brazilian to receive the vaccine.
This is the second positive case in Bolsonaro’s entourage since his arrival in the American city.
Queiroga was with Bolsonaro at various events, including a meeting with UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Monday.
Although the delegation has returned to Brazil, Marcelo Queiroga “will remain in the United States during the period of isolation,” the note added.
Vaccinated against the coronavirus, Queiroga, 55, “is fine,” according to the official report.
In the evening, the Health Minister wrote on Twitter that, although he follows “all health security protocols,” the ministry “will continue to take firm measures to deal with the pandemic in Brazil.”
Since Sunday night in New York, Jair Bolsonaro had caused a sensation on Twitter by being photographed very relaxed with his collaborators, having dinner with a piece of pizza, standing in the street, a joke attributed by the Brazilian media to his refusal to the COVID-19 vaccine.
The Minister of Health is the only one in the photo who wears a mask, but under the chin.
When asked about his controversial handling of the pandemic, which has claimed more than 591,000 lives in Brazil, Bolsonaro opened the United Nations General Assembly with a speech in which he made several misleading or inaccurate statements, some of which were related to the pandemic, according to a verification by the AFP Factcheck team.