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Brazilian president 'doing well' after being rushed to hospital

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By Euronews  with AFP, AP
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Brazil's President Jair Bolsonaro speaks during a joint press conference Paraguay's president at the Planalto Palace in Brasilia, Brazil, Nov. 24, 2021.
Brazil's President Jair Bolsonaro speaks during a joint press conference Paraguay's president at the Planalto Palace in Brasilia, Brazil, Nov. 24, 2021.   -   Copyright  Raul Spinasse / AP

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro was rushed to a Sao Paulo hospital early on Monday after experiencing "abdominal discomfort" that doctors found was caused by an intestinal blockage, his office and medical team said.

"After feeling abdominal discomfort, the president was admitted to Vila Nova Star hospital in Sao Paulo early Monday to undergo examinations," his office said in a statement.

"The president is doing well. Further details will be released after his medical bulletin is updated."

Bolsonaro's medical team said he was suffering from a partial blockage of the intestinal tract.

"He is stable, undergoing treatment, and will be reevaluated throughout the morning," his doctors added in a statement. "At the moment, there is no forecast for his release."

The Brazilian leader posted a photo of himself on Twitter in the hospital bed, giving a thumbs up. He wrote that more tests will be done for possible surgery.

The 66-year-old was on vacation at the beach in the southern state of Santa Catarina when the pain started, leading to a rushed evacuation to Sao Paulo in the presidential plane.

The far-right president has had a series of health problems since being stabbed in the abdomen during the 2018 presidential campaign that brought him to power.

Last July, he was hospitalised due to a severe case of hiccups.

Controversial beach vacation

Doctor Antonio Luiz Macedo, the surgeon who heads the medical team and has operated on Bolsonaro in the past, revealed the president would undergo a battery of tests.

In July, Bolsonaro spent four days receiving treatment for an intestinal obstruction.

Since the knife attack, Bolsonaro has undergone abdominal surgery at least four times.

He regularly tears up when speaking about his stabbing in September 2018, perpetrated by a lone assailant who was found to be psychologically unfit for trial.

Doctors said Bolsonaro lost 40% of his blood in the attack, which nearly killed him.

But he survived and went on to win the presidency that October, fuelling supporters' die-hard faith in the man they call "Mito" ("The Myth"). However, Bolsonaro's aura of invincibility has since then faded.

His approval rating is at an all-time low as he prepares to seek re-election this October.

Bolsonaro trails far behind his likely top opponent, leftist ex-president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, whom recent polls indicate could win the election in the first round.

Bolsonaro's beach vacation, which started on December 27, triggered controversy in recession-hit Brazil.

With the northeastern state of Bahia battered by deadly floods, the president ignored calls to interrupt his holiday, instead posting videos of himself soaking up the sun and jet skiing through crowds of cheering supporters.