Mexico president tests negative after COVID illness

Lopez Obrador, who refused for months to wear a mask, was said to have suffered mild symptoms.

Lopez Obrador announced he had tested positive for COVID-19 on January 24 [File:Reuters]

Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador has announced he has tested negative for COVID-19, nearly two weeks after being diagnosed with the virus.

Lopez Obrador, who refused for months to wear a mask or abandon his cross-country tours, was said to have suffered mild symptoms.

“I took an antigen test this morning and it came out negative,” said the 67-year-old president, who has a history of heart problems and hypertension, in a video on social media on Thursday.

Lopez Obrador underwent further testing, but the results were not yet available, authorities told a news conference.

“Of course I still have to wait a few more days, but I am already in good health. I am recovering well from COVID,” the president said.

He also thanked Mexicans and foreigners for the support.

“I will not stop thanking all of you, Mexicans and foreigners, who worried about my health, those who wanted me to move forward, those who prayed, those who sent me blessings, good vibes … Thank you very much, with all my heart,” Lopez Obrador added.

The left-wing leader, who had experienced brief episodes of low-grade fever and a slight headache, announced his illness on January 24.

Earlier on Thursday, Mexico’s Assistant Health Secretary Hugo Lopez Gatell said Lopez Obrador had been working from isolation, mainly on the distribution of COVID-19 vaccines.

This week, health authorities started national registration for elderly people to receive the vaccine, but supplies have proven low.

Mexico is scrambling to line up shipments of the Pfizer and Russian Sputnik vaccines, but no new doses are expected to arrive until mid-February.

For the third straight day, millions of Mexicans who tried to register for vaccines when they do arrive were met with a non-functional website.

According to Lopez Gatell, half a million people have signed up successfully.

Mexico has officially registered about 1.9 million coronavirus cases and more than 161,200 deaths, one of the world’s highest death tolls.

Source: Al Jazeera and news agencies