Mexican President López Obrador tests positive for Covid-19

MEXICO CITY — Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador said Sunday that he had tested positive for Covid-19 and that his symptoms were light and he was receiving medical treatment.

"As always, I am optimistic," said López Obrador, 67, who has resisted wearing a mask.

Mexico is in the grip of a second wave of the pandemic, and it has the fourth-highest death toll worldwide.

The Health Ministry on Sunday reported 10,872 new confirmed coronavirus cases and 530 deaths, bringing its totals to 1,763,219 infections and 149,614 deaths.

Hospitals are overwhelmed by the surge. The real number of infected people and deaths is likely to be significantly higher than the official count, the Health Ministry has said.

López Obrador said on Twitter that his interior minister would run his regular morning news conference in his absence.

"Fortunately, the president is stable at the moment, the symptoms are mild," José Luis Alomía Zegarra, said a Mexican health official, said during a regular news conference held shortly after López Obrador announced his diagnosis. "A team of medical specialists is attending to the health of the president."

López Obrador has maintained a busy public schedule during the pandemic and has said he enjoys good health, despite having suffered a serious heart attack at age 60 in 2013.

He said he would still hold a scheduled call with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Monday and keep an eye on public affairs 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 aims to acquire 12 million doses of Russia's Sputnik V, with the first potentially arriving as soon as this week.

Mexico aims to administer 7.4 million doses of Sputnik V by the end of March as the country scrambles to quickly secure as great a supply of vaccines as possible.

The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine is the only vaccine being administered in Mexico. The government said Friday that the second round of doses could be delayed and that private companies will be allowed to purchase the drugs directly as the country struggles to keep rampant infections in check.

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