SAO PAULO, Brazil — The first coronavirus patient in Latin America is being isolated for two weeks at a Jewish hospital in Sao Paulo.
Built by donations from well-known Jewish families in 1955, the Albert Einstein Israelite Hospital is one of Brazil’s strongest Jewish institutions and considered a leading hospital in Latin America.
The 61-year-old man who traveled on a business trip to northern Italy from February 9 to February 21 checked into the hospital on Monday with symptoms similar to COVID-19. The confirmation came on Wednesday.
“The patient is in good clinical condition and without the need for hospitalization, remaining in respiratory isolation that will be maintained for the next 14 days. The medical team continues to actively monitor him, as well as people who have had close contact with him,” read a statement to the media.
The diagnosis comes during the Carnival holidays, Brazil’s most popular festival and one of the world’s largest multi-day celebrations, when ecstatic crowds enjoy fabulous samba parades and enormous street parties.
“While other institutions prefer to disclose names, we maintain the Jewish stance of discretion,” Claudio Lottenberg, president of Einstein’s board, told The Times of Israel.
“The Einstein has prepared itself for being a reference organization, guided by values and ethics,” added the physician, who presided over Brazil’s umbrella Jewish organization, the Brazilian Israelite Confederation, between 2009 and 2014.
In 2018, the Einstein was handpicked by Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro as the place where he would recover from life-threatening injuries after he was stabbed during a campaign street rally.