Brazil's Jair Bolsonaro in hospital for chronic hiccups

Hospital admission sparks speculation over state of right-wing leader's health

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro was admitted to hospital on Wednesday to identify the cause of chronic hiccups, his office said, in the latest health scare for the far-right leader who was stabbed while campaigning in 2018.

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

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

Local media outlet G1 reported that Mr Bolsonaro had been admitted for tests after feeling abdominal pains during the early hours of Wednesday morning.

In a national address on social media last Thursday Mr Bolsonaro struggled to express himself at one point, and said he had been suffering from hiccups for a week.

Mr Bolsonaro's health has been an issue during his presidency. He almost died after being stabbed in the intestines on the campaign trail in 2018, requiring several follow-up operations.

Pro-Bolsonaro federal lawmaker Bia Kicis wrote on Twitter on Wednesday that Mr Bolsonaro's hospital visit was “a consequence of the 2018 knifing".

Newspaper O Globo reported that Antônio Luiz Macedo, the surgeon who operated on Mr Bolsonaro in 2018, had been called to Brasilia to be with the president.

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

Updated: July 15th 2021, 5:08 AM