World Brazil's Lula had COVID-19 while in Cuba for Oliver Stone film

23:40  21 january  2021
23:40  21 january  2021 Source:   reuters.com

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Brazil has the second-most Covid - 19 deaths in the world, but the populist leader has claimed the virus is merely a "little flu" and has sparred with regional leaders around the country. Earlier this month Brazil ' s former leader Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva called on him to be impeached, while the mayor of

Последние твиты от Oliver Stone (@TheOliverStone). Award-winning director, producer, screenwriter. Have been catching up over this holiday on 4 seasons of #TheCrown. With @Snowden in Moscow and # Lula in São Paulo on #SouthoftheBorder. Rarely do you meet people

BRASILIA (Reuters) - Brazil's former president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva disclosed on Thursday that he tested positive for the coronavirus weeks ago on a trip to Cuba for a documentary directed by American film maker Oliver Stone.

Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva wearing a pink shirt: FILE PHOTO: Municipal elections in Brazil © Reuters/AMANDA PEROBELLI FILE PHOTO: Municipal elections in Brazil

Lula, 75, did not need to be hospitalized in Havana after scans showed he had lung lesions associated with COVID-19 and his recovery was "excellent," said a statement from his office.

All but one of his 10-member party tested positive and remained in quarantine in Cuba, and only one of them spent two weeks in hospital with serious symptoms from the virus.

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Former Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva has been convicted of corruption charges and sentenced to nine and a half years in prison. He was Brazil ' s most popular president during his tenure - former US President Barack Obama labelled him the most popular politician on Earth.

The filming of the Stone documentary was suspended because of Lula's illness and postponed until a future date.

Lula tested negative before flying to Cuba on Dec. 21 and then positive five days later in Havana in tests that showed that he was infected before arriving on the island.

Lula, who returned to Brazil on Wednesday, thanked Cuba's government and its public health system for the daily care he received.

"We will never forget Cuban solidarity and the commitment to science of Cuba's professionals," he said, as he criticized Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro for the "irresponsibility" of his handling of the pandemic. Bolsonaro has played down the severity of the virus, despite Brazil having one of the worst outbreaks.

At the end of his stay in Havana, Lula met Cuban Communist Party leader Raul Castro and President Miguel Diaz-Canel, the statement said.

(Reporting by Anthony Boadle; editing by Grant McCool)

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