Brazilian mayor, who took office from his hospital bed after contracting COVID-19 last year, dies


Brazilian mayor, 71, who took office from his hospital bed after contracting COVID-19 during run-off election race last year dies from lung complications

  • Brazilian mayor Maguito Vilela died at the age of 71 on Wednesday morning
  • Vilela spent more than 80 days hospitalized due to a COVID-19 infection
  • Vilela was sedated when he won the runoff race for mayor of Goiânia on November 29
  • The career politician became infected with the coronavirus and was intubated October 30
  • He recovered from the virus December but then developed an infection in his lungs and had surgery last Thursday 

A Brazilian politician who spent his entire mayoral term in a hospital after he caught COVID-19 during the run-off race has died.

Maguito Vilela died at the age of 71 on Wednesday at at Albert Einstein Hospital in São Paulo, Brazil, due to severe lung complications caused by the virus.

Vilela caught coronavirus in the fall and had to be intubated on October 30. But he appeared to recover a little took office as mayor of the central city of Goiânia from his hospital bed January 1 after winning the November 29 runoff election. He took 52.6% of the votes, edging out Vanderlan Cardoso, who served as the city’s mayor in 2016.

However, Vilela’s condition took a turn for the worse last Thursday when he developed a bacterial and fungi infection in his lungs and underwent surgery. On Monday, doctors treated him with antibiotics and administered drugs to control his blood pressure.

On Wednesday morning,  the 71-year-old died in hospital.

Maguito Vilela, the mayor of the central Brazilian city of Goiânia, died at the age of 71 on Wednesday due to lung complications suffered as a result of a COVID-19 infection. Vilela, a married father-of-four, was diagnosed with the coronavirus October 20, 2020 and spent 83 days hospitalized

Maguito Vilela, the mayor of the central Brazilian city of Goiânia, died at the age of 71 on Wednesday due to lung complications suffered as a result of a COVID-19 infection. Vilela, a married father-of-four, was diagnosed with the coronavirus October 20, 2020 and spent 83 days hospitalized 

Maguito Vilela was practically kept away from the campaign trail ahead of his return to public office for the first time since 2017 when he held the mayoral seat in the Goiás city of Aparecida de Goiânia

Maguito Vilela was practically kept away from the campaign trail ahead of his return to public office for the first time since 2017 when he held the mayoral seat in the Goiás city of Aparecida de Goiânia

Vilela, a career politician who served as governor of the state of Goiás from 1995 to 1998 and also served in the Senate from 1999 to 2007, was initially diagnosed with the coronavirus October 20, 2020 and was admitted to a hospital in Goiânia two days later. 

Doctors then transferred Vilela to Albert Einstein Hospital on October 27 after 75% of his lungs were inflamed. Due to difficulties breathing, Vilela had to be intubated three days later.

He was disconnected from the respirator November 8 but his health worsened on November 15, requiring him to be intubated on the same day voters filed to the ballot boxes in Goiânia for the first round of elections.

Vilela was kept away from the campaign trail ahead of his return to public office for the first time since 2017 when he held the mayoral seat in the Goiás city of Aparecida de Goiânia.  

On November 17, Vilela was connected to a extracorporeal membrane oxygenation machine, which provides support to the heart and lungs of patients. Doctors also performed a tracheostomy surgery on him on November 24.

Vilela tested negative for the coronavirus December 3 and had the machine removed two days later as doctors worked to reduced the amount of sedatives he was on.

During his time at the hospital, Vilela was also on a dialysis treatment for his kidneys. 

Goiânia Mayor-elect Vilela lost his two sisters to the coronavirus within a span of 10 days in August. Nelma Vilela (left) died August 18 and Nelita Vilela (right) died August 28

Goiânia Mayor-elect Vilela lost his two sisters to the coronavirus within a span of 10 days in August. Nelma Vilela (left) died August 18 and Nelita Vilela (right) died August 28

Maguito Vilela, the mayor of Goiânia, Brazil, died Wednesday at the age of 71 due to lung complications that developed after he was diagnosed with COVID-19 in October 2020

Maguito Vilela, the mayor of Goiânia, Brazil, died Wednesday at the age of 71 due to lung complications that developed after he was diagnosed with COVID-19 in October 2020

Vilela lost his two sisters to the coronavirus within a span of 10 days in August.

Nelma Vilela, 76, died from complications of the virus August 18, the same day she was hospitalized. Nelita Vilela, 82, spent two weeks under intensive care and died August 28.

As of Wednesday, Brazil ranked third in the world behind the United States and India with 8,195,637 confirmed cases.

The South American nation, the pandemic’s epicenter in Latin America, has registered 204,690 deaths, second-most behind the U.S.

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