Brazil's Lula 'fine' after pneumonia diagnosis, will travel to China Sunday

Brazil's President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva visits the reconstruction works of the Brazil National Museum in Rio de Janeiro
Brazil's President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva observes a piece of a meteorite as he visits the reconstruction works of the Brazil National Museum which was devastated by a fire in 2018, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil March 23, 2023. REUTERS/Ricardo Moraes/File Photo

BRASILIA, March 24 (Reuters) - Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva has been diagnosed with mild pneumonia and will delay a planned trip to China by a day, leaving on Sunday, the presidential palace and his doctor said.

Lula's physician, Dr. Roberto Kalil, told Reuters that the president is in good health after undergoing hospital tests on Thursday night and is responding well to antibiotics.

Lula was initially supposed to leave for China early Saturday for a visit aimed at refreshing ties with Brazil's largest export market.

"The president is fine. He has already improved from yesterday to today. The trip on Sunday is maintained," Kalil said after visiting Lula at the presidential palace earlier on Friday.

The president will be accompanied on the trip by a large delegation that includes half a dozen cabinet ministers, plus governors, lawmakers and 240 business leaders, over a third of whom are from Brazil's farming sector.

Chinese leader Xi Jinping is set to meet with Lula on Tuesday in Beijing. Lula will also visit Shanghai later in the week.

Most of Lula's Friday commitments were canceled, but he will still attend an afternoon meeting with ministers and government leaders in Congress, the president's office said.

Reporting by Lisandra Paraguassu; Editing by Steven Grattan and Rosalba O'Brien

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