Jair Bolsonaro: Key moments in Brazilian President's handling of COVID-19 crisis

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro.
Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro. Photo credit: Reuters

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro on Tuesday tested positive for COVID-19, the latest victim of a disease that has wreaked havoc in Brazil - the country with the second-highest death toll after the United States.

Below is a chronology of the key moments of the outbreak:

  • Feb 26 - Brazil's Health Ministry confirms first coronavirus case in Latin America.
  • March 12 - Brazil's presidential communications secretary tests positive for COVID-19 after returning from Florida where he and Bolsonaro met with US President Donald Trump.
  • March 13 - Bolsonaro says he tested negative for COVID-19.
  • March 15 - Ignoring medical advice to quarantine, Bolsonaro takes selfies with supporters at a rally in Brasilia.
  • March 20 - Health Minister Luiz Henrique Mandetta says the virus poses an existential threat to Brazil's fragile healthcare system, which could start to collapse in April.
  • March 24 - Bolsonaro urges mayors and state governors to roll back lockdown measures in a televised national address.
  • April 16 - Bolsonaro fires Mandetta, with whom he had clashed over social distancing measures.
  • May 8 - British medical journal The Lancet says Bolsonaro is the biggest threat to Brazil's ability to combat the spread of the coronavirus.
  • May 12 - Brazil's confirmed coronavirus cases total passes Germany, as Bolsonaro tries to reopen gyms and beauty parlors by presidential decree.
  • May 15 - Bolsonaro loses his second health minister in less than a month after Nelson Teich resigns due to differences over the use of antimalarial drugs in treating COVID-19.
Jair Bolsonaro: Key moments in Brazilian President's handling of COVID-19 crisis
Photo credit: Getty
  • May 18 - Brazil overtakes Britain to become the country with the third-highest number of infections, behind the United States and Russia.
  • May 20 - The Health Ministry, led by an active-duty army general on an interim basis, issues new guidelines for wider use of unproven antimalarial drugs in mild coronavirus cases.
  • May 22 - Brazil overtakes Russia to become the world No. 2 hotspot for coronavirus cases after the United States.
  • May 24 - US limits travel from Brazil amid worsening coronavirus outbreak.
  • June 6 - Brazil removes from public view months of data on its COVID-19 epidemic. "The cumulative data ... does not reflect the moment the country is in," Bolsonaro says on Twitter.
  • June 9 - Brazil restores the data following a Supreme Court ruling.
  • June 12 - Brazil's COVID-19 death toll passes Britain to become world's second highest after the United States.
  • June 19 - Brazil passes 1 million cases.
  • June 21 - Brazil passes 50,000 deaths.
  • June 23 - A judge orders Bolsonaro to wear a mask in public after he attended political rallies without one.
  • July 3 - Brazil passes 1.5 million cases.
  • July 7 - Bolsonaro says he has tested positive for the novel coronavirus.