By Ebi Kesiena
Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro will not need surgery, his doctors said on Tuesday, a day after the far-right leader was rushed to the hospital with a partially blocked intestine.
“President Jair Messias Bolsonaro’s intestinal subocclusion has been eliminated, with no need for surgery,” the Vila Nova Star hospital in Sao Paulo said in a statement.
“The patient is making satisfactory progress in both clinical evaluations and laboratory exams, and will begin a liquid diet today.”
There is no date set for his release, it added.
Bolsonaro, 66, developed abdominal pain during a New Year’s beach vacation in the southern state of Santa Catarina and was rushed to the hospital early on Monday via the Presidential jet.
It is the latest in a series of health problems since he was stabbed in the abdomen during the 2018 election campaign that brought him to power.
Doctors diagnosed a partially blocked intestine and said he could need surgery, nine months out from Brazil’s October elections.
However, lead surgeon Antonio Luiz Macedo, who has operated on Bolsonaro in the past, decided surgery was not necessary.
Bolsonaro has undergone at least four surgeries stemming from the knife attack that nearly killed him, perpetrated by a man who claimed he was following God’s orders, and who was later ruled mentally unfit to stand trial.
The President tweeted a picture of himself flashing a thumbs-up from his hospital bed Monday, his face fitted with a nasogastric tube a device to carry food and medicine to the stomach through the nose.
Bolsonaro’s approval rating is at an all-time low as he prepares to seek re-election, with Brazil stuck in recession and reeling from one of the world’s worst Covid-19 outbreaks.
He currently trails far behind his likely top opponent, leftist ex-president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva (2003-2010), who recent polls indicate could win the election in the first round.