President López Obrador is in isolation at his home in the National Palace after testing positive for Covid-19, becoming the latest of several world leaders and one of more than 1.7 million Mexicans who have contracted the infectious disease.
He said on Twitter Sunday night that he had mild symptoms but was already receiving medical treatment.
“As always, I’m optimistic. We will all move forward,” López Obrador wrote, adding that Interior Minister Olga Sánchez would take his place at his morning news conferences.
The president said he would continue to attend to public affairs, noting he would speak to Russian President Vladimir Putin on Monday about the possibility of Russia supplying Mexico with its Sputnik V vaccine.
Health Ministry Director of Epidemiology José Luis Alomía said Sunday night that a multidisciplinary team of doctors headed by Health Minister Jorge Alcocer was treating and monitoring López Obrador.
Interior Minister Sánchez said Monday that the president was “strong” and “stable” and predicted that he would recover quickly.
“He’s optimistic, he’s a responsible leader, an example to follow,” she said, despite the fact that López Obrador has only worn a face mask when absolutely necessary during the pandemic and downplayed the serious nature of the virus. “He’s a leader who inspires us and he’ll be with us to continue the mandate in a few days.”
Sánchez said that AMLO, as the president is known, is at home with his family but stressed that they are following health protocols to prevent further spread of the coronavirus. The interior minister said the president’s wife, Beatriz Gutiérrez Müller, had tested negative and was in good health.
Sánchez also said that she tested negative via a rapid test and was awaiting the results of a PCR test. The interior minister, who would become interim president if López Obrador were to succumb to Covid-19, is one of a long list of close contacts of the president.
AMLO completed a working tour of Nuevo León and San Luis Potosí over the weekend before returning to Mexico City on a commercial flight on Sunday. On Friday he was in Sabinas Hidalgo, Nuevo León, where he inaugurated a new National Guard base.
Numerous state and federal officials accompanied the president at the event including Governor Jaime Rodríguez, Security Minister Rosa Icela Rodríguez, Interior Minister Sánchez, Defense Minister Luis Cresencio Sandoval and Navy Minister Rafael Ojeda.
The newspaper Reforma reported that the governor and cabinet officials were in close contact with López Obrador, who as usual was not wearing a face mask.
From Sabinas Hidalgo, AMLO traveled to Monterrey, where at the home of his former chief of staff, Alfonso Romo, he held a telephone conversation with United States President Joe Biden.
Beneath a social media post in which he said that he spoke to Biden about migration, the coronavirus pandemic and development cooperation, López Obrador posted a photo that showed him with with Romo, Foreign Affairs Minister Marcelo Ebrard and Security Minister Rodríguez. None of them was wearing a mask.
Accompanied by Economy Minister Tatiana Clouthier, AMLO also met with business leaders in Monterrey on Friday, while on Saturday he had breakfast with Nuevo León gubernatorial aspirant Clara Luz Flores.
Also on Saturday, the president was in close contact with Welfare Minister Javier May during a visit to Linares, Nuevo León, and San Luis Potosí Governor Juan Manuel Carreras and other local officials during a visit to the municipality of Moctezuma.
López Obrador concluded his three-day working tour with an event to inaugurate National Guard facilities in Soledad de Graciano Sánchez, a municipality that is part of the San Luis Potosí city metropolitan area. He subsequently came into contact with an unknown number of people as he passed through the San Luis Potosí airport before flying coach to Mexico City.
Some officials announced they had gone into isolation as a result of being in contact with AMLO in recent days but as of 10:00 a.m. Monday none had confirmed testing positive for Covid-19.
The president, who at the start of the pandemic played down the threat of the virus before declaring in late April that the outbreak had been controlled, is now one of more than 10 leaders who have contracted Covid-19. Among the others are former United States president Donald Trump, Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and French President Emmanuel Macron.
AMLO’s infection comes as Mexico records higher coronavirus case numbers and Covid-19 deaths than at any other time of the pandemic.
The daily case tally exceeded 20,000 on four consecutive days between Wednesday and Sunday before declining to 10,872 on Sunday. Mexico’s accumulated tally currently stands at 1.76 million, the 13th highest total in the world.
The five worst days of the pandemic in terms of deaths all occurred last week with more than 1,400 fatalities reported last Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday. An additional 530 fatalities were registered Sunday, lifting Mexico’s official Covid-19 death toll to 149,614, the fourth highest total in the world.