The Head of State announced on July 7 that he had contracted Covid-19. Since then, he never left the presidential residence in Brasilia.

Jair Bolsonaro is off the hook. The Brazilian president announced that he was no longer positive for the new coronavirus on Saturday, July 25, in a message posted on Twitter. “[Test] rt-PCR with Sars-CoV-2: negative. GOOD MORNING ALL”, writes the one who announced on July 7 that he had contracted Covid-19. The 65-year-old far-right leader does not specify when the test was carried out, which detects the presence of the virus by analyzing nasal secretions.

Once again, the leader appeared with a box of hydroxychloroquine, a treatment he regularly promotes but whose effectiveness has been disputed by numerous studies. – the last one appeared in the journal Nature (in English).

During his announcement in early July, Jair Bolsonaro had mentioned “an indisposition with discomfort, fatigue, a little muscle pain, and a fever in the late afternoon which reached 38 degrees”. Since then, he has stayed for nearly 20 days at Alvorada Palace, the presidential residence, and fulfilled his official obligations through video conferences.

He had gotten into the habit of walking in the gardens and had occasionally spoken to sympathizers who had come to greet him, while keeping a certain safety distance. During this time, he underwent three more tests that came back positive. In a Facebook post on Thursday, Jair Bolsonaro said he felt good but was “a little stressed to be locked up”.

President Jair Bolsonaro greets activists at Alvorada Palace on July 20 in Brasilia (Brazil). (EVARISTO SA / AFP)

Since the start of the pandemic, the far-right president has repeatedly played down the disease and bet on a group immunization strategy. He had participated in several public events without wearing a mask, while criticizing the isolation measures implemented in several states. Its contamination had given rise to lively exchanges in Brazil, between the presidential camp and the opposition.

Brazil, which has 2.34 million cases and more than 85,000 deaths, entered a plateau that seems endless in June. The daily average is over 1,000 deaths over a rolling seven day, with a sharp rise in the number of people infected this week, five months after the first confirmed case. But the national figures hide large regional disparities. The trend is downward in four states, 13 more are stable, while the number of deaths is up in 10 of them.