The Brazilian Supreme Court has ordered President Jair Bolsonaro to reveal the results of his COVID-19 test within 48 hours. The court has warned him of a fine of 5,000 reais ($911) per day, if he fails to abide by the directions.
According to Brazilian media G1 broadcaster, federal judge Ana Lucia Petri Betto asked Bolsonaro to reveal the results of all tests he has undergone.
It was a unanimous decision of the court to strike down a provincial decree signed in March that allowed government officials to avoid or delay answering queries based on Access to Information Act when the state is facing a public calamity.
Justice Alexander de Moraes claimed that it was just an effort to prevent accessing of public information and it will hinder open public debate. He said it was the government's duty to be absolutely transparent.
The court sought the information following a petition published in the Sao Paulo official bulletin which claimed that President Bolsonaro had visited the US in March with a delegation. Of the total members of the delegation, 20 had tested positive for COVID-19.
Bolsonaro also has undergone tests, but he has refused to reveal details of the results. In fact he has been pressing the governors to open the markets citing melting down of economy. But the governors refused to end lockdown and restrictions.
Bolsonaro had called COVID-19 a "little flu" and wanted the markets to resume business soon, as the coronavirus, in his view, was not dangerous. He himself has been breaching social distancing norms and has continued to communicate with public.
If the results of the tests turn out to be positive, Bolsonaro can be held liable for impeachment.
Currently, Brazil has 87,187 confirmed coronavirus cases and recorded 6,006 deaths as on May 1. According to the country's health minister, the rate of death due to COVID-109 has doubled in eight days in Brazil.
Recently, Bolsonaro had sacked Luiz Henrique Mandetta as the health minister and replaced him by Nelson Teich, an oncologist who supported Bolsonaro's presidential campaign. Bolsonaro had expressed displeasure with Mandetta's position on the economic impact of the coronavirus. He was for restrictions and lockdown and not in favour of opening of markets when the country is facing the the pandemic.