Sao Paulo State Governor Joao Doria speaks during a press conference in Brazil.
The governor of Sao Paulo, the state with the highest COVID-19 death toll in hard-hit Brazil, said Wednesday he had tested positive for the new coronavirus and would continue working from quarantine.
Governor Joao Doria, an early and vocal advocate of lockdown measures to contain the virus, is a leading opponent of far-right President Jair Bolsonaro, who regularly downplays COVID-19 and argues the economic damage of business closures will be worse than the disease.
Doria, 62, said in a video posted on Twitter that he was "completely asymptomatic."
"I just received my sixth test result for COVID-19 and unfortunately it came back positive," he said.
"I feel fine. I'm going home... and will continue holding meetings remotely with all sectors of the sao Paulo government for the next 10 days."
Brazil has the second-highest number of coronavirus infections and deaths in the world after the United States, at more than 3.1 million and 103,000 respectively.
Bolsonaro himself tested positive for the virus last month, spending three weeks in quarantine. Eight of his cabinet ministers and 11 of Brazil's 27 governors, including Doria, have also tested positive.
Home to 46 million people, Sao Paulo state is Brazil's industrial hub and also the epicenter of its coronavirus outbreak, with nearly 640,000 infections and more than 25,000 deaths.
The state began a gradual reopening process in June, despite warnings from medical experts that it was still too soon.
The South American country has now registered 330,890 infections and 21,048 deaths from the new coronavirus, though experts say under-testing means the real figures may be 15 times higher or more.
The travel ban was a blow to right-wing Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, who has followed the example of US President Donald Trump in addressing the pandemic, fighting calls for social distancing and touting unproven drugs.
Brazil has reported more than 34,000 deaths from the virus so far, meaning it surpassed the amount in Italy and trails only the UK and US Experts consider the tally a significant undercount due to insufficient testing.
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