Covid-19: Argentine governor tests positive, Venezuelan minister recovers

Sao Paulo governor tests positive for coronavirus
Sao Paulo Governor Joao Doria

SAO PAULO/CARACAS, Aug 13 (NNN-AGENCIES) — The governor of Sao Paulo, the state with the highest COVID-19 death toll in hard-hit Brazil, said he had tested positive for the new coronavirus and would continue working from quarantine.

Governor Joao Doria, an early and vocal advocate of lockdown measures to contain the virus, is a leading opponent of President Jair Bolsonaro, who regularly downplays COVID-19 and argues the economic damage of business closures will be worse than the disease.

Doria, 62, said in a video posted on Twitter that he was “completely asymptomatic.”

“I just received my sixth test result for COVID-19 and unfortunately it came back positive,” he said.

“I feel fine. I’m going home … and will continue holding meetings remotely with all sectors of the Sao Paulo government for the next 10 days.”

Brazil has the second-highest number of coronavirus infections and deaths in the world after the United States, at more than 3.1 million and 103,000 respectively.

Bolsonaro himself tested positive for the virus last month, spending three weeks in quarantine. Eight of his cabinet ministers and 11 of Brazil’s 27 governors, including Doria, have also tested positive.

Home to 46 million people, Sao Paulo state is Brazil’s industrial hub and also the epicenter of its coronavirus outbreak, with nearly 640,000 infections and more than 25,000 deaths.

a man standing in front of a mirror posing for the camera: Venezuela's economy vice president Tareck El Aissami uses a protective mask at Simon Bolivar International Airport amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak in Caracas

Venezuela’s economy vice president Tareck El Aissami

Meanwhile, Venezuelan oil minister Tareck El Aissami said he had recovered from the novel coronavirus, a month after he tested positive for COVID-19.

El Aissami, who is also the OPEC nation’s economic vice president and was named to the position of oil minister earlier this year, said on Twitter he had received a negative result on a rapid test for the virus.

“Thanks to President Nicolas Maduro and Cilia Flores for all their support and strong prayers,” El Aissami wrote. “We have overcome.”

Venezuela, whose oil industry and economy have unraveled during Maduro’s six-year tenure, has reported 27,938 cases of the coronavirus and 238 deaths.

Besides El Aissami, the most prominent member of the ruling socialist party who has tested positive is Diosdado Cabello, who presides over the government-friendly National Constituent Assembly and is widely recognized as Maduro’s second-in-command.

Cabello has rarely been seen in public since testing positive in early July, though last week state-funded media outlets published images of him standing and waving outside a health clinic. — NNN-AGENCIES