Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro has said he tested positive for the novel coronavirus, adding in a television interview that he was in good health despite running a fever.

The right-wing populist, who has played down the severity of the virus which he has called a "little flu," took the test yesterday after developing symptoms.

In the interview broadcast on state-run TV Brasil, Mr Bolsonaro said he began feeling ill on Sunday and has been taking hydroxychloroquine, an anti-malarial drug with unproven effectiveness against Covid-19.

Brazil has the world's second-largest outbreak behind the United States. Latin America's largest country has more than 1.6million confirmed cases and 65,000 Covid-19 deaths.

Mr Bolsonaro has repeatedly defied local guidelines to wear a mask in public, even after a judge ordered him to do so in late June. He has also railed against social distancing rules supported by the World Health Organization.

Over the weekend, Mr Bolsonaro attended several events and was in close contact with US Ambassador Todd Chapman during 4 July celebrations. Pictures showed neither wearing a mask.

We need your consent to load this rte-player contentWe use rte-player to manage extra content that can set cookies on your device and collect data about your activity. Please review their details and accept them to load the content.Manage Preferences

Read: More coronavirus stories

The US Embassy in Brasilia said via Twitter yesterday that the ambassador had lunch on 4 July with Mr Bolsonaro, five ministers and the president's son, Congressman Eduardo Bolsonaro.

The ambassador had no symptoms, but would undergo testing and is "taking precautions," the embassy said.