RIO DE JANEIRO – Maguito Vilela, the Brazilian politician who was elected mayor of the city of Goiânia in a coma due to COVID-19, has died as a result of the illness. This was announced on Wednesday on his personal Instagram account.
“It is with great regret that we report the death of Goiânia’s mayor, Maguito Vilela, which took place this morning,” the statement said. Local media said he was 71 years old.
Vilela’s surprising choice of his hospital bed made international headlines. It was a vivid example of the reach of the coronavirus pandemic in Brazil, which has the worst COVID-19 death toll in the world outside of the United States. Almost 205,000 people have died of COVID-19 in Brazil, and 8.2 million people are infected with the virus.
Vilela, a former senator from the centrist party of the Brazilian Democratic Movement, tested positive for the coronavirus on October 20. A week later, he arrived at the Albert Einstein Hospital in Sao Paulo and spent most of the time there either intubated or induced coma.
In November he was elected mayor of Goiânia, a city of 1.5 million people in central Brazil. He won 52.6% of the vote.
“The family is taking care of the transfer of the body from São Paulo to Goiás and he must be buried in Jataí, his homeland,” said the Instagram statement.