July 16, 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 yet for him to be discharged.
Bolsonaro, 66, has been in hospital since Wednesday, when he traveled from Brasilia to Sao Paulo for treatment relating to complications from the 2018 knife. 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 afternoon the president was recovering in a satisfactory manner, but gave no date for his release from hospital.
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 longterm 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 RochabrunWriting by Marcelo Rochabrun and Gabriel Stargardter;Editing by Stephen Eisenhammer, Alistair Bell and Frances Kerry)