Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro has tested positive for coronavirus, it has been confirmed.
The test results were announced on Tuesday after reports the president was suffering from symptoms of the disease yesterday.
The president made the announcement himself to TV from the capital Brasilia.
“It just turned out positive,” said Bolsonaro at the Palácio da Alvorada.
“I’m well, normal. I even want to take a walk around here, but I can’t due to medical recommendations,” he added.
The president said he began to feel unwell on Sunday and on Monday experienced tiredness, muscle pain and fever.
He then went to a hospital in Brasilia, where he had his oxygen levels checked and was tested for the Covid-19 disease.
Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro initially resisted wearing a mask but he was seen on TV wearing one today.
Yesterday Bolsonaro told supporters outside the presidential palace he had just visited the hospital and been tested for the virus, adding that an exam had shown his lungs were “clean”.
Meanwhile the president’s office said in a statement that the he was at home and was “in good health”.
The president said he learned of his positive result in a televised address late Tuesday morning.
He said he imagined he would one day become infected due to being in frequent with other people.
“As president, I am on the front lines,” he said.
Bolsonaro said in his morning announcement today he was being treated with hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin and would be working from isolation using video conferencing, CNN reports.
The president is said to believe the drugs are a Covid-19 treatment despite little proof of their effectiveness according to medics.
Bolsonaro’s official events on Tuesday have been cancelled, according to CNN Brasil.
He added: “I will be watched by the first lady.”
The Pan American Health Organisation has wished Brazil’s Bolsonaro a speedy recovery, adding that his positive Covid-19 test shows the virus is not under control and stronger social distancing is needed across the Americas.
Bolsonaro has been criticised for repeatedly playing down the impact of the virus, even as Brazil has suffered one of the world’s worst
outbreaks calling it “a little flu”.
South America’s largest nation had more than 1.6 million confirmed cases and 65,000 related deaths, according to official data on Monday.
Even some Amazon tribes in the depths of the rainforest have been affected.
The right-wing populist leader has often defied local guidelines to wear a mask in public, even after a judge ordered him to do so in late June.
He is also against lockdowns, saying 70% of people would get infected and lockdowns would cause more harm than good to local economies.
It is believed he had been tested three times prior to this after returning from a visit to the US to see President Trump, which led to many from his entourage being infected.
They had visited Trump’s Mar-a-Lago, Florida, estate in March.