Sao Paulo, :Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro was released from hospital Wednesday, two days after being rushed in for emergency treatment of a partially blocked intestine.
Bolsonaro, 66, spoke at a news conference with his medical team before leaving the Vila Nova Star hospital in Sao Paulo, saying he was ready to get back to work.
It is the latest in a series of health problems since the far-right leader was stabbed in the abdomen during the 2018 election campaign that brought him to power.
Bolsonaro’s hospital stay came as he faces tough elections in nine months’ time, with his approval rating at an all-time low.
The president, who was on a New Year’s holiday at the beach when his abdominal pains started, was still in his vacation clothes as he addressed the media: the maroon jersey of Sao Paulo football club Juventus.
But in a no-nonsense tone, he said he was ready to get down to the business of 2022, the last year of his four-year term.
“All my scheduled events will be maintained. I’ve got a trip to the northeast this month, to Rio de Janeiro, to Russia in February…. I’m going to continue as normal,” he said.
“It’s hard to sit around doing nothing. Life goes on,” he added, saying he would “try to follow” his doctors’ advice: a restricted diet and limited physical activity.
– ‘Very good health’ –
Doctors had initially said Bolsonaro could need an operation.
But after placing him on a liquid diet and emptying his stomach through a nasogastric tube, they said Tuesday the blockage had been eliminated without surgery.
Lead surgeon Antonio Luiz Macedo said Bolsonaro was in “very good health” and “ready for work,” though he added that future episodes of the same issue remain possible.
Doctors say Bolsonaro’s stabbing and resulting surgeries have left him with abundant scar tissue in his abdomen, which can clog the intestines.
The president had last been hospitalized in July with the same problem, which gave him a case of persistent hiccups.
On that occasion, too, doctors placed him on a liquid diet and decided not to operate.
Bolsonaro will now be on a “special diet” for a week, with advice to eat slowly, chew his food thoroughly and go for walks but refrain from intense exercise, Macedo said.
He said the culprit behind the crisis appeared to be a shrimp that Bolsonaro swallowed without chewing at Sunday lunch.
Bolsonaro has undergone at least four surgeries stemming from his stabbing at a campaign rally in September 2018, perpetrated by a man who claimed he was following God’s orders.
His attacker was ruled mentally unfit to stand trial — though Bolsonaro and his inner circle have long alleged a left-wing plot.
“What I’m worried about now isn’t my agenda, it’s my security,” Bolsonaro said before leaving the hospital.
“We know the left are aggressive, how they’ll stop at nothing to eliminate their adversaries.”