Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, undergoing hospital treatment for an obstructed intestine after a near-fatal 2018 stabbing, said on Friday he hoped to be “back in action soon”.
Bolsonaro has been in hospital since Wednesday, when he travelled from Brasilia to Sao Paulo for treatment relating to complications from the knife attack nearly three years ago. After initial concerns, he required an emergency surgery, and doctors now say he is improving, with an operation less likely.
On Friday morning, Bolsonaro tweeted a stern-faced photo of himself, walking along a hospital corridor with a drip attached to his neck.
“Back in action soon, God willing!” he wrote. “We’ve done a lot, but we still have a lot to do for our Brazil!”
– Em breve, de volta a campo, se Deus quiser! Muito fizemos, mas ainda temos muito a fazer pelo nosso Brasil! Obrigado pelo apoio e orações. Um forte abraço a todos! 🇧🇷 pic.twitter.com/Lk3P14Nj5H
— Jair M. Bolsonaro (@jairbolsonaro) July 16, 2021
On Thursday evening the president’s doctors said in a statement that they had removed a gastric catheter from Bolsonaro and that he would begin eating again on Friday.
His legislator son, Eduardo Bolsonaro, said in a video published to Telegram that doctors had removed “close to one litre [a quarter of a gallon] of liquid” from the president’s stomach that was caused by the obstruction, considerably alleviating the pain.
Another son, senator Flavio Bolsonaro, said his father had been “intubated as a precaution” when he was taken to the hospital in Brasilia.
Bolsonaro had said in a Thursday TV interview that he could be out of hospital on Friday, but his doctors have still not given a forecast for when he will leave.
O Globo newspaper columnist Lauro Jardim wrote on Friday that Bolsonaro had passed the night well and would now begin a liquid diet.
Bolsonaro was admitted to a hospital in Brasilia, the capital city, on Wednesday with abdominal pain, and for the following days experienced chronic hiccups.
Bolsonaro, 66, has faced several health issues during his presidency, mainly stemming from long-term complications after he suffered a perforated intestine when he was stabbed on the campaign trail in 2018. He was also ill with COVID-19 last year.
In recent weeks, Bolsonaro has appeared to struggle with speaking at times.
Bolsonaro is in a weak political moment as senators probe a corruption scandal over the purchase of coronavirus vaccines and he faces criticism over his handling of the pandemic.
According to statistics compiled by Johns Hopkins University, COVID-19 has killed nearly 540,000 people in Brazil – the world’s second-highest death toll behind the United States.
Recent polls have shown low approval ratings and indications that he risks losing next year’s election.
The opposition is pushing for the president of the chamber of deputies to open impeachment proceedings against Bolsonaro.