The coronavirus outbreak is claiming some high-profile victims: Tom Hanks and his wife are self-isolating in Australia and UK Health Minister Nadine Dorries is also in quarantine.
But there are fears that someone with an even higher profile could be at risk: US president Donald Trump.
The president held a meeting with Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro at his Mar-A-Lago resort at the weekend. And now it has emerged that President Bolsonaro’s communications secretary, Fabio Wajngarten, has reportedly been tested for COVID-19.
Wajngarten was pictured standing next to President Trump at the meeting, wearing a ‘Make Brazil Great Again’ cap and grinning happily for the camera.
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Vice President Mike Pence, who has been placed in charge of America’s coronavirus response, was also at the meeting.
Brazilian media reports say Wajngarten was tested for coronavirus at the Albert Einstein Hospital in São Paulo on Wednesday and the result would be ready on Thursday. While the hospital has refused to confirm or deny the reports, Wajngarten himself has issued a fierce denial on Twitter.
He said: “Despite what the rotten media have already said about my religion, my family and my company, now they are talking about my health. But I am well.”
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Brazil’s Health Ministry has so far reported 52 confirmed cases of the virus. There have been no deaths from the disease in Brazil to date.
Meanwhile, in the UK, a high profile Cabinet minister has tested positive for the virus, but government sources are declining to release the minister’s name at present.
Chancellor Rishi Sunak has promised that the NHS will get "whatever resources it needs" during the crisis and he has announced a "temporary coronavirus business interruption loan scheme" to support small and medium-sized businesses.
Labour MP Rachael Maskell has tweeted that she has been advised by NHS 111 to self-isolate "as a result of a meeting" she had with Ms Dorries last week.
- Donald Trump
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