Mexico president tests positive for coronavirus for 3rd time

López Obrador, 69, who has a history of heart problems, would isolate for 'a few days' in Mexico City


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Mexico's President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador. -- Reuters file
Mexico's President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador. -- Reuters file

Published: Mon 24 Apr 2023, 11:18 AM

Last updated: Mon 24 Apr 2023, 11:19 AM

Mexico’s president suspended a tour of the Yucatan peninsula on Sunday after acknowledging he tested positive for the coronavirus, having previously suffered two bouts of Covid-19.

President Andrés Manuel López Obrador wrote in his social media accounts that “it isn’t serious.”

The comment followed reports in the local press that López Obrador felt faint on Sunday morning and had to cancel his tour, something his presidential spokesman denied.

López Obrador, 69, who has acknowledged a history of heart problems, wrote that he would isolate for “a few days” in Mexico City.

“My heart is 100 perc ent and as I have had to suspend the tour, I will be in Mexico City and celebrating, although from afar, the 16th birthday of (his son) Jesús Ernesto,” he wrote.

López Obrador was ill with Covid-19 in early 2021 and recovered after receiving what he described at the time as an experimental treatment. In January 2022, he announced he had come down with Covid-19 a second time, amid a spike in coronavirus infections in Mexico.

López Obrador declined to enact mandatory mask mandates and he refused to wear a mask even at the peak of the pandemic unless it was absolutely necessary, as on airline flights. He famously refused to use Mexico's presidential jet, which he recently announced had been sold to Tajikistan.

Presidential spokesman Jesús Ramírez did not immediately respond to a question about whether the president would return to Mexico City aboard a commercial airline flight.

The president said that while he remains in isolation, Interior Secretary Adán Augusto López will fill in at the daily presidential morning news briefings.

That could provide a boost for the interior secretary's flagging campaign to win the presidential nomination of López Obrador’s Morena party for the 2024 elections. López, who is not related to the president, currently trails Mexico City Mayor Claudia Sheinbaum in most polls on the primary race.

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