May 25: Brazil’s Supreme Court chief justice will be on medical leave for seven days after showing some of the respiratory signs of Covid-19, according to the court’s press office.

Dias Toffoli was hospitalised on Saturday to remove an abscess and had no complications during the surgery. He showed respiratory symptoms, though, that suggested the coronavirus may be present, Bloomberg reported.

Toffoli, 52, tested negative for Covid-19 on May 20, authorities said. He was previously tested on April 28.

Toffoli’s seven-day leave may be extended, depending on the outcome of his test. 

During his absence, the court will be headed by its vice-president, Luiz Fux. If his diagnosis is confirmed, Toffoli will be the latest among a number of Brazilian officials who’ve battled the infection, including Minister of the Institutional Security Office Augusto Heleno, and Rio de Janeiro Governor Wilson Witzel.

Brazil’s coronavirus curve steepened further on Saturday, a day after it overtook Russia to become the country with the second-highest number of cases. The Latin American nation added 16,508 cases and said the death toll rose by 965.

Brazil has 347,398 confirmed cases through Saturday, trailing only the U.S. globally. Its death toll of 22,013 was still lower than the U.S. and some of the most infected European countries, including the U.K. and Spain, but has risen steadily from 3,704 a month ago.

As the country shattered records and the contamination curve fails to flatten, President Jair Bolsonaro remains adamant about his crusade to reopen commerce and the economy. On Sunday, the president joined a gathering of supporters in Brasilia.

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