Mexico’s president tests positive for COVID-19 for second time

Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador said Tuesday he was hoarse and had a sore throat after testing positive for COVID-19 for the second time.

López Obrador suggested he had the omicron variant, saying “this new variant of COVID isn’t very damaging.” He is isolating himself and spoke in a video message to the country’s diplomats. “It’s like a cold,” he said.

On Monday, the president was visibly ill at a press event, and without a mask, when he was asked by media if he had been tested for COVID, in which he responded he only had a cold, but would take a test soon.

The president’s reinfection mirrored a spike in coronavirus cases in Mexico that appears to be due to the spread of the omicron variant. While there has been little increase in new hospitalizations or deaths so far, many Mexicans expressed a sense of dread and discomfort.

There has been a widespread shortage of coronavirus tests in a country that already does very little testing, and on Tuesday, some private pharmacies — once the last hope of a test for those who could pay $15 to $25 for antigen tests — announced they had run out of kits.

“The worst is yet to come,” said Oscar Galindo, 35, a financial services worker in downtown Mexico City. “There are people who don’t take precautions, who are not vaccinated, and they are creating the new variants in their bodies.”

Vaccine uptake has been relatively high in Mexico, where most consider themselves fortunate to get a shot after seeing hospitals overwhelmed last January, when people waited in lines to get oxygen cylinders refilled to treat relatives at home.

Even Javier Nolasco, a 21-year-old law student who has been fully vaccinated and wears a face mask, felt the pall of what appears to be Mexico’s fourth wave of coronavirus.

“We all have to keep taking all of the precautions,” Nolasco said. “This has been bad for the economy, and for social life.”

But López Obrador predicted that “this virus is on its way out” and that “things will get back to normal very soon.”

The president appeared on a video feed at the morning press briefing he normally runs at the National Palace in Mexico City. At least two members of his cabinet also tested positive in recent days, and López Obrador said he would wear a mask — something he has been loath to do.

The president said in that video that “fortunately, this variant does not have the degree of danger that delta did, and I am experiencing that.”

López Obrador said he had no fever, and his oxygenation was good. The president is fully vaccinated and has had a booster shot.

Health Secretary Jorge Alcocer said López Obrador could return to the briefings as early as next week.

Galindo said Mexico had let down its guard a bit during the holidays. In Mexico City, most people in downtown areas still rigorously wear face masks, but big family get-togethers are a holiday tradition.

“It got a little out of control,” Galindo noted. “When the December holidays come around, everybody has to have a party, and we all have parties.”

In 2021, López Obrador returned to his daily news briefings in February after a two-week absence when he caught coronavirus in January.

At the time, López Obrador revealed he received experimental treatments, which he described only as an “antiviral” medication and an anti-inflammatory drug.

This time around, the president said he was taking only paracetamol, a mild pain medication.

On Monday, the president told Mexicans to just assume they had COVID-19 if they had symptoms. The number of confirmed cases spiked by 186% last week.

López Obrador claimed the omicron variant is “a little COVID,” noting hospitalizations and deaths had not increased at the same rate as new cases. However, experts say those are both lagging indicators that may not show up for weeks after infections spike. In the U.S., where the omicron wave hit before it did in Mexico, COVID-19 deaths have again started to rise.

Reading advice posted on Twitter, the president said Mexicans with symptoms should just stay at home, take paracetamol and isolate rather than going out and trying to find tests.

Since Christmas, private pharmacies and the few available testing centers have been overwhelmed by long lines. The Twitter advice drew on guidelines from Mexico City and other health authorities.


Receive the PVDN newsletter, exclusive content, and Whatsapp messaging for emergency alerts, by becoming a PVDN Supporter, Become a Sponsor here.Or if you would like to make a one-time donation to show support for independent news make a donation here.


López Obrador’s administration has long refused to implement mass testing, calling it a waste of money. He called on companies not to require COVID tests for employees.

Mexico has also been one of the few countries not to impose lockdowns, flight bans or mandatory face mask requirements.

Mexico passed 300,000 test-confirmed coronavirus deaths last week, but so little testing is done in the country of 126 million that a government review of death certificates puts the real toll at almost 460,000.


Trending Stories Right Now on PVDN

  • Jalisco New Generation Cartel hitman arrested in Puerto Vallarta Agents from the Secretary of National Defense were part of an operation in Puerto Vallarta, Jalisco, land of the Jalisco New Generation Cartel ( CJNG ) in which they arrested an alleged hitman from the group linked to organized crime. At approximately 4:00 in the morning, they reported that a large number of elements, vehicles,…
  • Two Canadians killed in shooting at Xcaret hotel in Quintana Roo Two Canadians were killed Friday and one more wounded in a shooting at a hotel along Mexico’s Caribbean coast, state authorities said. Quintana Roo state security chief Lucio Hernández said via Twitter that authorities were searching for a Hotel Xcaret guest in the shooting. He shared a photo of a man walking with a handgun.…
  • Coronavirus in Mexico as of January 21, 2022 This Friday, January 21, the Ministry of Health (SSa) announced that until the cutoff at 5:00 p.m. (Central Mexico time), 4,595,589 total accumulated cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed in the country since the pandemic began. As for the number of deaths, to date, a total of 302,721 deaths were reported. With these numbers, in…
  • Hundreds of dead fish wash ashore in Puerto Vallarta Hundreds of fish washed ashore this Tuesday at Palmares beach, located south of the city of Puerto Vallarta, causing the astonishment of locals. According to fishermen in the area, it is not common to see this species near the beach because they are deep-sea fish, so they believe that some tide brought them to the…
  • Omicron makes up 90% of all new cases in Puerto Vallarta The municipalities of Guadalajara and Puerto Vallarta lead the rebound in cases of COVID-19 in Jalisco and are the ones with the highest circulation of the omicron variant; explained the researcher Víctor Manuel González Romero, detailed that the behavior of greater circulation of the virus is maintained where there is a greater concentration of people.…

Puerto Vallarta News

Compare Listings

Title Price Status Type Area Purpose Bedrooms Bathrooms