Brazilian World War II veteran recovers from Covid-19

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A 99-year-old former member of the Brazilian Expeditionary Force — a group of 25,700 men that fought in Italy during World War II — has recovered from Covid-19. Ernando Piveta spent eight days in Brasília’s Armed Forces Hospital and was discharged on Tuesday afternoon. According to his medical reports, doctors chose not to give him the controversial antimalarial drug chloroquine, as the medicine has proven to be risky on patients with heart conditions — which was Mr. Piveta’s case.

world war ii veteran
99-year-old veteran Ernando Piveta. Photo: Defense Ministry

The veteran’s recovery was considered an important morale booster for the overburdened team of doctors and nurses — for a 99-year-old with pre-existing conditions, prognostics are hardly encouraging.

In September 1942, Mr. Piveta was a member of Brazil’s 4th Regiment Horse Artillery and he received the Defense Ministry’s Medal of Victory, an honor given to World War II veterans. Upon leaving the hospital, the veteran compared the fight against the coronavirus to the war, saying beating Covid-19 was his “biggest battle.”