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Brazilian Official Who Met Donald Trump Tests Positive For Coronavirus

The Virus Which Has Spread To At Least 38 US States Has Already Claimed 33 Lives In The Country.

News Nation Bureau | Edited By : Raghwendra Shukla | Updated on: 12 Mar 2020, 10:45:30 PM
donald trump

Brazilian official who met Donald Trump tests positive for coronavirus (Photo Credit: Twitter @WhiteHouse)

Brasilia:

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro’s communications chief, who met US President Donald Trump during an official weekend visit, has been tested positive for the deadly coronavirus, the government said on Thursday. The Brazilian president’s office “has taken and is taking all necessary preventive measures to protect the health of the president and all staff that traveled with him to the United States” last Saturday to Tuesday, it said in a statement, confirming the far-right government’s chief spokesman, Fabio Wajngarten, had tested positive for COVID-19.

Wajngarten is Bolsonaro’s secretary and he accompanied the far-right leader on a visit to Florida that included dinner with Trump at Mar-A-Lago.

He had posted a picture of himself meeting Trump on Instagram on Saturday, both with hats reading “Make Brazil Great Again.”  Vice President Mike Pence was also in the photograph.

Earlier, Trump suspended all travel from Europe to the US for the next 30 days, with the exception of the United Kingdom. The measure to stop the spread of coronavirus will come into effect on Friday at midnight. Trump said he will be taking “unprecedented” emergency action to offer financial relief for US workers and also will be asking Congress for immediate payroll tax relief.

The virus which has spread to at least 38 US states has already claimed 33 lives in the country.

COVID-19 characterised as a pandemic

On Wednesday, WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said he was alarmed by the spread and severity of the outbreak, along with a lack of action taken to combat it. "COVID-19 can be characterised as a pandemic," he told reporters in Geneva. He said he expected the number of cases and deaths would grow in the coming days and weeks.

"We have never before seen a pandemic sparked by a coronavirus," he said. He also said hard-hit Iran was trying its best to control the outbreak but needed more supplies.

The novel virus reportedly first originated in the Chinese city of Wuhan in December last year and has claimed over 4,000 lives globally. In China, the virus has already claimed over 3,100 lives. Near 1 lakh people have now been infected with the COVID-19 strain in the mainland.

Meanwhile, India on Wednesday suspended all visas, except a few categories such as diplomatic and employment, till April 15 to prevent the spread of coronavirus as 10 new cases were reported taking the total number of patients in the country to 60.

However, as per state health officials, the number of confirmed cases may be up to 65.

As the infection continued to spread its tentacles in the country, state governments and Union territories took a number of preventive measures.

With Agency Inputs

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First Published : 12 Mar 2020, 09:45:23 PM