Brazil’s Bolsonaro recovering, says will be ‘back in action soon’

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Brazil's President Bolsonaro signs law to allow for privatization of Eletrobras
FILE PHOTO: Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro speaks during a ceremony to sign a law for the privatization of state-controlled electricity utility Eletrobras, at the Planalto Palace in Brasilia, Brazil, July 13, 2021. REUTERS/Adriano Machado

July 17, 2021

By Eduardo Simões and Marcelo Rochabrun

SAO PAULO (Reuters) -Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, undergoing hospital treatment for an obstructed intestine after a near-fatal 2018 stabbing, said on Friday he hoped to be “back in action soon,” while doctors gave no date for him to be discharged.

Bolsonaro, 66, has been in the hospital since Wednesday, when he traveled from Brasilia to Sao Paulo for treatment relating to complications from the 2018 knifing. After initial concerns he might need emergency surgery, doctors now say he is improving, with an operation less likely.

His doctors said in a statement on Friday evening the president was recovering in a satisfactory manner, and that the president began eating again in a smooth fashion. They gave no date for his release from hospital, however.

Earlier on Friday, Bolsonaro tweeted a photo of himself, walking along a hospital corridor with a drip attached to his neck and looking stern-faced.

“Back in action soon, God willing!,” he wrote. “We’ve done a lot, but we still have a lot to do for our Brazil!”

Bolsonaro had said in a TV interview on Thursday he could be out of hospital on Friday.

On Thursday evening the president’s doctors said they had removed a gastric catheter from Bolsonaro and that he would begin eating again on Friday.

Bolsonaro has faced several health issues during his presidency, mainly stemming from long-term complications after he suffered a perforated intestine when he was stabbed on the campaign trail in 2018. He was also ill with COVID-19 last year.

Bolsonaro is in a weak political position as senators probe a corruption scandal over the purchase of coronavirus vaccines and he faces criticism over his handling of the pandemic.

COVID-19 has killed nearly 540,000 people in Brazil – the world’s second highest death toll behind the United States.

(Reporting by Eduardo Simoes and Marcelo Rochabrun; Writing by Marcelo Rochabrun and Gabriel Stargardter; Additional writing by Gram Slattery; Editing by Alistair Bell, Frances Kerry and Chris Reese)