Eighth Brazilian Cabinet minister tests positive for coronavirus

A worker in a protective suit sprays to disinfect the Amazonas Theatre ahead of its reopening after the Amazonas state government eased isolation measures to prevent the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Manaus, Brazil

An eighth minister in Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro’s Cabinet has tested positive for the new coronavirus, the government said on Tuesday, as Brazil fights the world’s worst outbreak of the coronavirus outside the United States.

Jorge Oliveira, secretary of the presidency, has been working remotely in isolation since his diagnosis, his office said in a statement. Eight of Bolsonaro’s 23 Cabinet ministers have now tested positive for COVID-19.

The president and his wife, Michelle, also contracted the disease. Bolsonaro resumed official meetings and travel after a test showed he was no longer infected on July 25.

Brazil has confirmed more than 2.8 million cases of the virus since the pandemic began. The official death toll has risen to 94,665, with 51,603 new cases and 1,154 deaths in the past 24 hours, the Health Ministry said Tuesday.

Despite the spread of the virus in his inner circle, the right-wing Bolsonaro has minimized the gravity of the pandemic and opposed lockdown measures, citing the risks to Latin America’s largest economy.

On Monday, Bolsonaro told reporters he was feeling fine after comments last week that he had “mold” in his lungs and was taking antibiotics. He has not given more details about his medical condition.

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