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Bolsonaro ignores social distancing after recovering from Covid, despite his wife testing positive

BRAZILIAN President Jair Bolsonaro ignored social-distancing measures this week as he made his first public appearances since recovering from Covid-19.

Mr Bolsonaro had been confined to the presidential residence in the capital, Brasilia, for more than two weeks.

On Thursday he frequently removed his mask as he greeted people crowding in front of Piaui state airport. 

Mr Bolsonaro then flew to Bahia state to inaugurate a new public water-supply system, where he removed his mask at a fountain and splashed water on supporters and allies who gathered around him. 

Later in the day, Brazil’s first lady Michelle Bolsonaro was also revealed to have tested positive for Covid-19 the previous day, making her the fifth cabinet member to be infected. 

She had joined her husband in Brasilia on Wednesday during his first public event since recovering, where they embraced. 

Mr Bolsonaro said in a live social-media broadcast that he had taken a blood test after feeling “a little weakness” that day, and that doctors had found “some infection” –but he continued not to wear a mask.

He was expected to travel to Rio Grande do Sul on the border with Uruguay yesterday, after the Star went to print. 

The President has frequently downplayed the severity of the virus, even after being infected, arguing against restrictions on economic activity that he claims would be more damaging than the disease. 

His approach, which flies in the face of medical advice, is disapproved of by the majority of Brazilians, according to a recent opinion poll. 

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