Brazil: Jair Bolsonaro hospitalised to identify cause of chronic hiccups

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro was hospitalized on Wednesday to identify the cause of chronic hiccups, the president’s office said.

This is the latest health scare for the far-right leader who was stabbed in the gut on the campaign trail in 2018.

Bolsonaro, 66, went to the military hospital in Brasilia and is expected to be under observation for the next 24 to 48 hours, although not necessarily in hospital, the statement said.

“He is feeling good and doing well,” it said.

Local media reported that Bolsonaro had been admitted for unspecified medical testing after feeling abdominal pains during the early hours of Wednesday.

On Thursday, Bolsonaro in a national address struggled to express himself at one point, and said he had been suffering from hiccups for a week.

Bolsonaro’s health has been an issue during his presidency. He nearly died after being stabbed in the intestines on the campaign trail in 2018, resulting in multiple follow-up surgeries. Federal lawmaker Bia Kicis wrote on Twitter that Bolsonaro’s hospitalization was “a consequence of the 2018 knifing.”

Local media also reported that Antônio Luiz Macedo, the surgeon who operated on Bolsonaro in 2018, had been called to Brasilia to be with the president.

Aside from the knifing, Bolsonaro caught Covid-19 in July last year, but recovered. In appearances over the last few months, he has also had a stubborn cough.