Mexico’s president says he’s tested positive for COVID-19

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MEXICO CITY (AP) – Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador said on Sunday he had tested positive for COVID-19 and the symptoms were mild.

The Mexican president, who has been criticized for his handling of his country’s pandemic, said on his official Twitter account that he is under medical treatment.

“I regret to inform you that I am infected with COVID-19,” he tweeted. “The symptoms are mild but I am already under medical treatment. As always, I am optimistic. We will all move forward. “

López Obrador, 67, has long been criticized for not setting an example of prevention in public. He was rarely seen wearing a mask and continued to follow a busy travel schedule by taking commercial flights.

He resisted the lockdown of the economy, noting the devastating effect it would have on so many Mexicans who live hand to mouth.

At the start of the pandemic, asked how he was protecting Mexico, López Obrador removed two religious amulets from his wallet and proudly displayed them.

“The protective shield is the ‘Get behind me, Satan,” said López Obrador, reading the inscription on the amulet, “Stop, enemy, for the Heart of Jesus is with me.

In November, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, head of the World Health Organization, said ‘Mexico is in bad shape’ with the pandemic and urged its leaders to take the coronavirus seriously and set examples for its citizens .

He did not name López Obrador, but said: “We would like to ask Mexico to be very serious.”

“We have said in general, wearing a mask is important, hygiene is important and physical distance is important and we expect leaders to be examples…” he added.

At the start of the pandemic, López Obrador was criticized for always leaning into the crowd and cuddling. The eternal militant, López Obrador’s political style has always been very practical and personal. As the pandemic increased, it began to limit attendance at its events and to keep away from supporters.

Despite his age and high blood pressure, as well as his surgery after a heart attack, López Obrador said he would not skip the line for a vaccination. His concession seemed to be regular testing. In a country that only tests people with significant symptoms, López Obrador is tested once a week.

At his age and with his existing health conditions, López Obrador’s turn for a vaccine could still be weeks away as the country is still working to vaccinate frontline health workers.

As of Sunday evening, Mexico had administered nearly 630,000 doses of the vaccine.

Mexico has recorded nearly 150,000 deaths from COVID-19 and more than 1.7 million infections. Hospitals in the capital have been near full capacity for weeks as a spate of cases followed the holiday season.

López Obrador’s announcement came soon after news It emerged that he would speak to Russian President Vladimir Putin on Monday about obtaining doses of the Sputnik V COVID-19 vaccine.

Mexican Foreign Secretary Marcelo Ebrard said via Twitter the two leaders would talk about the bilateral relationship and the provision of vaccine doses.

The vaccine has not been approved for use in Mexico, but the government is desperate to fill the supply gap for the Pfizer vaccine.

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