By CHRISTOPHER SHERMAN, Related Press
MEXICO CITY (AP) — Mexico President Andrés Manuel López Obrador labored from isolation Monday, a day after asserting that he examined optimistic for COVID-19, and was absent from his every day information convention for the primary time in his two years in workplace.
The president, who has hardly ever been seen sporting a masks, stayed out of sight as his nation topped 150,000 deaths, the fourth-highest degree on this planet. He has been criticized for his dealing with of Mexico’s pandemic and for not setting an instance of prevention in public.
He spoke by cellphone Monday with Russian President Vladimir Putin, and spokesman Jesus Ramirez mentioned afterward on Twitter that Mexico would obtain 24 million doses of the Russian Sputnik V vaccine, although it has not but been authorized to be used within the nation.
Assistant Well being Secretary Hugo López-Gatell mentioned Mexico has already acquired the outcomes of Section 3 efficacy testing on the Russian vaccine, however he didn’t launch any figures on how properly it really works. He mentioned these figures could be printed quickly. He mentioned Mexico may start receiving shipments of the vaccine in late January or February, although it has not but been licensed to be used.
López Obrador appeared “with resolute spirit, working and looking out good,” Overseas Affairs Secretary Marcelo Ebrard, who can also be isolating and awaiting take a look at outcomes, mentioned on Twitter.
López-Gatell mentioned the president’s signs to date had been mainly a fever.
Additionally Monday, the son of Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim introduced that his father has COVID-19 and is responding to remedy. Carlos Slim Domit wrote on Twitter that his father began having minor signs per week in the past and sought care at one of many nation’s foremost hospitals.
The president introduced the prognosis Sunday on his official Twitter account, saying, “The signs are delicate however I’m already underneath medical remedy.”
The 67-year-old López Obrador had a “gentle” case of COVID-19 and was “isolating at residence,” mentioned José Luis Alomía Zegarra, Mexico’s director of epidemiology.
On Monday, Inside Secretary Olga Sánchez Cordero mentioned the president had designated her to carry the every day briefings till his return. She mentioned López Obrador was properly and powerful.
“He’s finishing up his features as president of the republic. He’ll proceed keeping track of public affairs,” she mentioned. Sánchez Cordero, who spoke with out sporting a masks, mentioned she was awaiting take a look at outcomes of her personal.
Regardless of his age and hypertension, López Obrador has not acquired a vaccine, although Mexico has acquired batches of Pfizer-BioNTech doses. He has mentioned that well being staff could be the primary to get them. Below the federal government plan, individuals over 60 will begin being vaccinated in February.
López Obrador has maintained a busy journey schedule, taking business flights. He spent the weekend in San Luis Potosi and Nuevo Leon states, the place he was photographed and not using a masks.
He has additionally resisted locking down the financial system, noting the devastating impact it could have on so many Mexicans who stay everyday. The nation registered 659 newly confirmed COVID-19 deaths Monday, bringing the overall to 150,273. Nevertheless, Mexico exams only a few individuals, and authorities extra demise estimates counsel the actual demise is nearer to 195,000. The nation has greater than 1.7 million infections, which have pushed the well being system of the capital metropolis near saturation.
Early within the pandemic, requested how he was defending Mexico, López Obrador took two spiritual amulets from his pockets and proudly confirmed them off.
“The protecting protect is the ‘Get thee behind me, Devil,’” López Obrador mentioned, studying off the inscription on the amulet, “Cease, enemy, for the Coronary heart of Jesus is with me.”
In November, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, head of the World Well being Group, urged Mexico’s leaders to be severe concerning the coronavirus and set examples for its residents, saying that “Mexico is in dangerous form” with the pandemic. He didn’t title López Obrador.
“We’ve got mentioned it generally. Carrying a masks is vital. Hygiene is vital, and bodily distancing is vital, and we anticipate leaders to be examples,” he added.
On Monday, the WHO chief mentioned by way of Twitter: “I’m sorry to listen to that you’ve got examined optimistic for #COVID19, President @lopezobrador— . I want you swift restoration. Keep robust!”
At first of the pandemic López Obrador was criticized for leaning into crowds and giving hugs. The everlasting campaigner, his political fashion has at all times been hands-on and private. Because the pandemic grew, he started limiting attendance to his occasions and sustaining his distance from supporters.
However on Friday, López Obrador posted a photograph of himself, Ebrard, a translator and former chief of workers Alfonso Romo gathered round a desk for a cellphone name with U.S. President Joe Biden. None was sporting a masks.
As in different nations, the masks query has polarized the Mexican public and appeared to divide response to López Obrador’s an infection as properly, mentioned Ivonne Acuña Murillo, political science professor on the Universidad Iberoamericana in Mexico Metropolis. She famous a spread of responses, from individuals wishing him a speedy restoration to those that appeared gleeful at his sickness.
López Obrador is thought to be cussed and extra usually doubles down on a place quite than retreat within the face of criticism.
“He actually is a person of convictions and glued concepts,” Acuña mentioned. “He doesn’t simply change his positions and choices.” Nonetheless, she thought it was extra possible that he would start sporting a masks than making a dramatic change in his optimistic discourse concerning the pandemic.
Alongside a Mexico Metropolis boulevard Monday, Gabriel Osorio, who was sporting a masks and protecting glasses together with his swimsuit and tie, mentioned it was a dangerous state of affairs.
“We hope that he recovers and returns quickly,” Osorio mentioned. “Additionally, I didn’t suppose that he took the right measures to maintain himself.”
Mexico Metropolis avenue vendor Eduardo Sanchez wished the president luck. “We’re all uncovered to that,” he mentioned via his masks. “Everybody, previous or younger, has to maintain themselves.”
Different Latin American leaders who’ve examined optimistic for the coronavirus embrace Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro, Guatemala’s Alejandro Giammattei, Honduras’ Juan Orlando Hernández and Bolivia’s then-interim President Jeanine Ánéz. All have recovered.
Related Press video journalist Lissette Romero and AP author Mark Stevenson in Mexico Metropolis and author Jamey Keaten in Geneva contributed to this report.
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