Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva speaks at an event in Brasilia on 21 March 2023. EFE/Andre Borges

Brazil’s Lula postpones China trip due to illness

Brasilia, Mar 25 (EFE).- On the recommendation of his doctors, President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva has postponed a five-day visit to China after being diagnosed with bronchial pneumonia, the Brazilian government said Saturday.

“The postponement has been communicated to the Chinese authorities with the reiteration of the desire to schedule the visit for a different date,” officials said in a statement.

Lula, 77, said Friday that he was delaying by one day his departure for China due to a “slight pneumonia.”

The president went to the hospital Thursday suffering from flu symptoms after a hectic few days that included extensive travel across the giant South American nation.

Tests showed that he had bacterial and viral bronchial pneumonia and the president began treatment with antibiotics.

On Saturday, physicians evaluated his condition again and though they noted “clinical improvement,” they concluded that he should not travel until he is free of the virus, according to the statement.

Lula was to be accompanied to China – Brazil’s leading trade partner – by Cabinet ministers, 240 business executives and dozens of members of Congress.

The delegation was set to take part in events in Beijing and Shanghai, including an economic forum with as many as 500 business leaders from both countries.

Lula and Chinese President Xi Jinping were expected to sign a score of accords in areas ranging from trade to the energy transition within the framework of the bilateral strategic partnership.

EFE cms/dr