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Brazil President Bolsonaro's wife, Michelle, and science minister test positive for COVID-19

The positive test comes just days after her husband said he had overcome the virus with a negative test following weeks in quarantine.
Image: Jair and Michelle Bolsonaro
Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro speaks with his wife, Michelle Bolsonaro, during a International Women's Day ceremony held at the Palacio do Planalto in Brasilia, Brazil on March 6, 2020.Mateus Bonomi / AGIF via AP file
/ Source: Reuters

SAO PAULO/RIO DE JANEIRO — Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro's wife and one of his ministers have tested positive for COVID-19, according to an official statement on Thursday, as the spread of the novel coronavirus showed no signs of slowing in the country with the world's second-worst outbreak after the United States.

Just days after her husband said he had overcome the virus with a negative test following weeks in quarantine, Bolsonaro's wife, Michelle, has tested positive, the presidential office said in a statement.

"First lady Michelle Bolsonaro tested positive for COVID-19 on Thursday. She is in good health and will follow all established protocols," it said, referring to the disease caused by the new coronavirus.

Earlier on Thursday, Brazil's science and technology minister, Marcos Pontes, said his test had come back positive, becoming the fifth minister in Bolsonaro's government to be diagnosed with the disease.

Their infections are a palpable sign of the scale of the outbreak in Brazil, which set fresh daily records on Wednesday for new COVID-19 cases and related fatalities.

The 69,074 new confirmed cases and 1,595 additional deaths reported by the Health Ministry, pushed the country past 2.5 million infections and 90,000 killed.

Pontes made his announcement on Facebook, saying he was quarantining and working remotely.

"I just tested positive for the new coronavirus," he said. "I'm well, just a bit of flu symptoms and a headache."