Portugal's president tests negative for COVID-19


LISBON, Jan. 12 (Xinhua) -- Portuguese President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa tested negative for COVID-19 on Tuesday, according to an official statement.

"The test done this morning by the Ricardo Jorge Institute returned to give a negative result. The President of the Republic is now awaiting instructions from the health authorities," said a note published on the official website of the Portuguese Presidency.

This is the president's third PCR test, known as polymerase chain reaction test, in the last 24 hours.

A PCR test showed Monday that Rebelo de Sousa was positive for coronavirus although an antigen test has come out negative. He then took two more PCR tests -- one on Monday night and another one on Tuesday -- and the results were both negative.

The 72-year-old president, who is running for re-election in the presidential poll on Jan. 24, has maintained his work schedule remotely by electronic means. He was self-isolating at the Belem presidential palace in Lisbon.

According to information from the official Portuguese public communication network RTP, Rebelo de Sousa confirmed his presence in the debate of the presidential elections that will be held on Tuesday evening by the broadcaster among all candidates.

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