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Mexico’s coronavirus czar tests positive for COVID-19

Deputy Health Secretary Hugo Lopez-Gatell speaks during a briefing about the new coronavirus, at the Palacio Nacional in Mexico City, Monday, July 13, 2020. Lopez-Gatell, known as Mexico’s coronavirus czar, has tested positive for COVID-19, according to reports on Friday, Feb. 19, 2021.

MARCO UGARTE/AP

By PATRICK GILLESPIE | Bloomberg News | Published: February 20, 2021

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(Tribune News Service) — Mexican Deputy Health Minister Hugo Lopez-Gatell, known as the nation’s coronavirus czar, has tested positive for COVID-19, according to a tweet.

Lopez-Gatell says he’s dealing with mild symptoms that began Friday, and he plans to continue working from home for now.

Lopez-Gatell speaks regularly at press conferences on COVID-19 developments, including Mexico’s vaccine strategy, and oversaw President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador’s recent recovery from the virus.

Mexico’s virus czar got embroiled in controversy earlier this year when he took a vacation to the beach resort of Huatulco despite urging citizens to stay at home. Lopez Obrador defended him amid the criticism.

According to official data, Mexico has reported over 2 million total cases and nearly 180,000 deaths.

Some of Mexico’s most prominent people have contracted and recovered from COVID-19, including the billionaire businessman Carlos Slim, Latin America’s richest man.

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