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Brazil's President Jair Bolsonaro. 16 December 2021. Alamy Stock Photo
Sao Paulo

Brazil's Bolsonaro rushed to hospital with probable intestinal blockage

Doctor Antonio Luiz Macedo told news site UOL that the president would undergo several tests to examine his abdomen.

LAST UPDATE | 3 Jan 2022

BRAZILIAN PRESIDENT JAIR Bolsonaro was rushed to hospital early this morning for treatment of a probable intestinal obstruction, local media reported.

Bolsonaro, 66, was on vacation at the beach in the southern state of Santa Catarina when the pain started, leading to a rushed evacuation to Sao Paulo in the presidential plane.

The far-right leader has had a series of health problems since being stabbed in the abdomen during the 2018 presidential campaign that brought him to power.

“After feeling abdominal discomfort, the president was admitted to Vila Nova Star hospital in Sao Paulo early today to undergo examinations,” his office said in a statement.

“The president is doing well. Further details will be released after his medical bulletin is updated.”

Bolsonaro’s medical team said he was suffering from an “intestinal subocclusion,” a partial blockage of the intestinal tract.

“He is stable, undergoing treatment and will be reevaluated throughout the morning,” his doctors said in a statement.

“At the moment, there is no forecast for his release.”

TV Globo showed images of Bolsonaro walking unassisted as he disembarked from his plane with his entourage.

Doctor Antonio Luiz Macedo, the surgeon who heads the medical team and has operated on Bolsonaro in the past, told news site UOL the president would undergo a battery of tests.

In July, Bolsonaro spent four days receiving treatment for an intestinal obstruction.

Since the knife attack, Bolsonaro has undergone abdominal surgery at least four times.

He regularly tears up when speaking about his stabbing in September 2018, perpetrated by a lone assailant who was found to be psychologically unfit for trial.

Doctors said Bolsonaro lost 40% of his blood in the attack, which nearly killed him.

But he survived and went on to win the presidency that October, fueling supporters’ die-hard faith in the man they call Mito – The Myth.

Bolsonaro’s aura of invincibility has faded since then, however.

His approval rating is at an all-time low as he prepares to seek re-election this October.

Bolsonaro trails far behind his likely top opponent, leftist ex-president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva (2003-2010), whom recent polls indicate could win the election in the first round.

Bolsonaro’s beach vacation, which started on December 27, triggered controversy in recession-hit Brazil.

With the northeastern state of Bahia battered by deadly floods, the president ignored calls to interrupt his holiday, instead posting videos of himself soaking up the sun and jet skiing through crowds of cheering supporters.

© AFP 2022

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