Mexican president says doing well despite second Covid bout

·2-min read
Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador checks his blood oxygen level during an appearance by video link on January 11, 2022, a day after announcing he had caught Covid-19 for a second time (AFP/-) (-)

Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said Tuesday he was doing well despite catching Covid-19 for a second time, telling the country that Omicron was a less dangerous variant.

"I'm feeling pretty good," Lopez Obrador, 68, said in a video message played during a news conference led by Interior Minister Adan Augusto Lopez in his absence.

"Let's not be scared. Fortunately this is a variant that does not have the level of danger of the Delta variant," Lopez Obrador added, speaking with a croaky voice.

"What do I have? Burning in the throat, hoarseness, a little body ache at first," he said.

On Monday the president had appeared in front of journalists speaking with a hoarse voice and without a face mask, prompting accusations of irresponsible behavior from critics.

He said at the time that he planned to get tested for the coronavirus but believed he had the flu.

Hours later, however, he announced that he had Covid-19.

Lopez Obrador overcame a first bout of the coronavirus in early 2021.

He has received the AstraZeneca vaccine including a booster on December 7.

Like many countries, Mexico is in the grip of a new wave of infections following the emergence of the highly contagious Omicron variant and traditional year-end family gatherings.

On Friday, Mexico's official Covid-19 death toll -- the fifth-highest in the world -- surpassed 300,000.

And on Tuesday, the country counted a record of more than 33,600 new cases in one day, according to official figures.

The country of 129 million people has reported a total of more than 4.1 million confirmed cases of the coronavirus.

The real figure is believed to be much higher due to the low level of testing.

On Tuesday Mexico's coronavirus response chief urged people not to get tested for Covid-19 even if they have symptoms, but to isolate at home given a shortage of tests.

"Instead of running to the kiosk to take a test, what you have to do is stay at home to avoid infecting other people," Deputy Health Minister Hugo Lopez-Gatell said.

If all the people who had a cough or sore throat went for a test, he said, it would reduce availability for those who really need one for medical reasons.


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