Brazilian Minister of Health tested positive for Covid at the UN

The Brazilian Minister of Health announced that he had tested positive for the coronavirus on Tuesday in New York, where he was attendin...

The Brazilian Minister of Health announced that he had tested positive for the coronavirus on Tuesday in New York, where he was attending the United Nations General Assembly with the country’s president, unvaccinated, Jair Bolsonaro.

The Minister of Health, Marcelo Queiroga, tweeted that he would quarantine himself in the United States and that he “followed all health security protocols.” Dr Queiroga, cardiologist, received the CoronaVac vaccine, made by Beijing-based Sinovac, earlier this year.

Dr Queiroga had accompanied Mr Bolsonaro on his visit to New York for the UN meeting, and was seen in video shaking hands with British Prime Minister Boris Johnson when Mr Johnson met Mr Bolsonaro on Monday.

Before being diagnosed, Dr Queiroga attended meetings in New York with United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and Polish President Andrzej Duda.

On Monday evening, Dr Queiroga made headlines in Brazil after he was filmed giving the middle finger to anti-Bolsonaro protesters as he and other members of the government delegation left a dinner party at the residence of the country’s ambassador to the United Nations.

The president’s office said in a statement on Tuesday evening that Dr Queiroga would remain in the United States while he recovered and said he was “fine.”

“We also inform that the other members of the delegation have tested negative for the virus”, the statement said.

Dr Queiroga had a busy schedule At New York. He had lunch with a group of investors; attended a meeting with the First Lady of Brazil, Michelle Bolsonaro; paid tribute to the 9/11 memorial; and spoke with senior officials of the World Health Organization.

Dr Queiroga became Mr Bolsonaro’s fourth health minister in March. His tenure was marred by allegations that senior ministry officials demanded bribes as they negotiated the purchase of Covid-19 vaccines.

Mr Bolsonaro’s handling of the pandemic in South America’s largest country has been widely criticized. He has repeatedly played down the threat posed by the virus, and his government has been slow to secure access to vaccines even as Covid-19 overwhelmed hospitals and killed more than 590,000 people in Brazil.

Tuesday, Mr. Bolsonaro used his speech at the General Assembly to defend the use of ineffective drugs to treat the coronavirus and argued that doctors should have been given more leeway to administer drugs not tested for Covid-19. The far-right president added that he was among those who recovered after “off-label” treatment with a malaria drug that studies have found ineffective in treating the disease.

Mr. Bolsonaro, who had a mild case of Covid-19 in July of last year, said he was in no rush to get the shot, which made a delicate exchange when he met Mr Johnson, who praised the AstraZeneca vaccine, which was developed in Great Britain at the University of Oxford.

“Get AstraZeneca vaccines,” Mr Johnson said. “I’ve had it twice.”

Mr. Bolsonaro pointed to himself and said, “Not yet.”

Its unvaccinated status has also created hurdles in New York City, where restaurants require customers to show proof of vaccination for indoor seats. On Sunday, one of Mr Bolsonaro’s ministers posted on Twitter a photo of the president eating pizza as he stood in the street alongside several high-level collaborators, including Dr Queiroga.

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Newsrust - US Top News: Brazilian Minister of Health tested positive for Covid at the UN
Brazilian Minister of Health tested positive for Covid at the UN
Newsrust - US Top News
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