Brazil's President Bolsonaro no longer needs nasal feeding tube

Brasília (AFP) –


Brazil's President Jair Bolsonaro had a feeding tube removed from his nose on Friday, doctors said, five days after another operation on his stomach, where he was stabbed during a campaign rally last year.

The far-right leader, who is 64, can now consume liquids orally, his doctors said.

"The nasogastric tube has been removed and he can have liquid food," according to a statement from the Sao Paulo hospital where he underwent a five-hour operation last Saturday, his fourth so far.

The feeding tube was inserted on Wednesday.

"He is continuing with his kinesiotherapy and can walk along the corridors," said the medical statement.

A presidential spokesman said late Thursday that Bolsonaro will not be able to return to work until September 17, four days later than expected, due to the need for a longer convalescence.

In the meantime, Vice President Hamilton Mourao has been filling in as interim president.

Bolsonaro's prolonged stay in hospital did not stop the former army officer from indulging in his traditional Thursday night live broadcast on Facebook.

With the feeding tube still in his nose, Bolsonaro paid tribute to the doctors who he said had saved his life. On the table in his hospital room, a cap with the logo "Make Brazil Great Again" -- a riff on US President Donald Trump's campaign slogan -- was visible.

Bolsonaro, an avowed Trump fan, is still scheduled to attend the United Nations General Assembly in New York on September 24, where Brazil traditionally delivers the first address of the gathering.