Last Update 14:27
Tuesday, 18 May 2021

Portugal's president, 72, tests positive for coronavirus

A laboratory test using the so-called PCR technique late on Monday revealed that the president was positive for the virus

AP , Tuesday 12 Jan 2021
Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa
FILE PHOTO: In this file photo dated Wednesday June 17, 2020, Portuguese President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa after addressing the media at the Belem presidential palace in Lisbon. (Photo: AP)
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The office of the Portuguese president says that Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa has tested positive for the coronavirus although the veteran politician has no symptoms.

Rebelo de Sousa is 72. He took office in 2016 and is seeking a second term in the country's presidential election on Jan. 24.

A laboratory test using the so-called PCR technique late on Monday revealed that the president was positive for the virus, despite an antigen test having come out negative earlier in the day, his office said in a statement late on Monday.

The president is self-isolating in a residential area in Belem, in the west of central Lisbon and has suspended all his agenda for coming days, it said.

As the head of state, the president is largely a figurehead in Portugal, where the prime minister and his cabinet are in charge of day-to-day affairs. He wields large influence nevertheless, and he holds the authority to appoint the prime minister and dissolve parliament.

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