Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said on Sunday that he had tested positive for COVID-19, adding that his symptoms were mild and that he was receiving medical treatment.
“As always, I’m optimistic,” said Lopez Obrador, 67, who has resisted wearing a face mask.
Mexico is in the grip of a second wave of pandemics and has the fourth highest number of deaths worldwide.
On Sunday, the Ministry of Health reported 10,872 new confirmed cases of coronavirus and 530 deaths, which amounted to 1,763,219 infections and 149,614 deaths.
Hospitals are overwhelmed by the increase in cases. The actual number of infected people and deaths is probably significantly higher than the official number, says the Ministry of Health.
Lopez Obrador said on Twitter that his interior minister would hold his regular morning press conference in his absence.
“Fortunately, the president is stable right now, the symptoms are mild,” said Jose Luis Alomia Zegarra, a Mexican health representative, during a regular press conference held shortly after Lopez Obrador announced his diagnosis. “A team of medical specialists takes care of the president’s health.”
Lopez Obrador has kept a hectic public schedule during the pandemic and has said that he is in good health despite suffering from a serious heart attack at the age of 60 in 2013.
He said he would still hold a scheduled meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Monday and keep an eye on general issues while receiving treatment.
Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard said on Twitter that the leaders would address “the future of the bilateral relationship, as well as the supply of Russian vaccines to Mexico”.
The government said this month that it is aiming to acquire 12 million doses of Russia’s Sputnik V, with the first potentially emerging next week.
Mexico is aiming to administer 7.4 million doses of Sputnik V by the end of March, as the country climbs to quickly secure as wide a range of vaccines as possible.
The Pfizer vaccine is currently the only vaccine administered in Mexico. The government said on Friday that the second round of doses of the Pfizer vaccine could be delayed and private companies will be allowed to buy the drugs directly as the country struggles to keep rampant infections.