Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, hospitalised since Wednesday with an obstructed intestine, could be discharged in the coming days, the Vila Nova Star hospital where he is being treated has said.
In a statement on Saturday, the hospital said Bolsonaro will be offered a diet of soups and purees and assuming he shows no negative reaction, he could be discharged in the next few days.
The 66-year-old was transferred to the hospital in Sao Paulo on Wednesday after suffering from a 10-day bout of constant hiccups.
Bolsonaro has said the problem relates to a stabbing during his 2018 presidential campaign.
Since then, the far-right leader has undergone six operations, five of which were on his digestive system.
In a live online event on Saturday to mark the opening of a Caixa Economica bank branch in the northern state of Ceara, Bolsonaro said he was feeling fine and wanted to get back to work.
“I’m fine, thank God. The problem I had earlier this week was still due to the stab wound I received in 2018 … from time to time it affects the gut,” Bolsonaro said during the live event, explaining that he will not undergo surgery.
“I can’t wait to get back to work, see friends and really get Brazil moving,” he added.
Bolsonaro currently faces mounting political pressure to account for his government’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic, which has killed more than 540,300 people in Brazil, according to Johns Hopkins University data.
He has been accused of failing to respond to alleged irregularities in the health ministry involving the procurement of a COVID-19 vaccine from India, and this month new allegations surfaced that Bolsonaro was involved in a scheme to skim his aides’ salaries when he was a federal deputy.
The president, a coronavirus sceptic who has downplayed the threat of COVID-19 and rebuffed efforts to impose strict lockdown measures such as curfews, has denied all the accusations against him.
While he remains defiant, recent polls show that his popularity is slipping ahead of presidential polls next year.
A recent Datafolha survey found that a majority of Brazilians – 54 percent – supported efforts by Brazil’s lower house to open impeachment proceedings against the president, compared with 42 percent who oppose it.
Bolsonaro could face a challenge from Brazil’s former leftist President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, who recent polls show could defeat the ex-army captain.