Brazilian VP tests positive for Covid-19

Brazilian Vice President Hamilton Mourao has tested positive for the novel coronavirus, his office said in a statement.

The result was confirmed on Sunday afternoon, Xinhua news agency quoted the statement as saying.

The statement added that Mourao will remain in isolation at the official Vice Presidential residence.

President Jair Bolsonaro had tested positive in July and recovered after having only mild symptoms, after which First Lady Michelle Bolsonaro also contracted the virus.

Brazil currently accounts for the third highest number of Covid-19 cases and second highest deaths.

As of Monday morning, the number of cases increased to 7,484,285, while the death toll stood at 191,139.

The state of Sao Paulo, the most populous in the country, has been hardest-hit, with 1,426,176 cases and 45,863 deaths, followed by Rio de Janeiro, with 421,069 cases and 24,918 deaths.

The city of Sao Paulo announced over the weekend the prohibition of non-essential activities on January 1-3 to avoid crowds during the New Year holiday.

In Rio de Janeiro, the country’s main tourist destination, traditional New Year’s Eve celebrations at the Copacabana Beach, which usually attract millions of visitors each year, have been suspended.