(Bloomberg) -- Mexico’s economic team is in self-isolation after Finance Minister Arturo Herrera announced he tested positive for Covid-19 on Thursday, adding to the ranks of Latin American policy makers who have caught the virus.
Mexico’s Economy Minister Graciela Marquez is among those quarantining out of precaution. Both top officials in recent days have been in close contact with President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, who has rejected the use of face masks at events and during his nationwide tours. AMLO, as the president is known, said he hasn’t been tested and continues to hold daily press conferences.
Mexico’s president is also laying plans for his next trip to the U.S. AMLO said Thursday he wants to visit President Donald Trump sometime around the July 1 kick-off for the new free trade agreement between the two nations and Canada.
It comes as both countries grapple with a surge in cases. Mexico passed another grim milestone Thursday, documenting more than 200,000 virus infections and over 25,000 deaths. U.S. states are reversing plans to reopen as the country registered the biggest-ever jump in coronavirus cases, in a growing recognition that the contagion is increasingly dictating events in much of the Americas.
Honduras President Juan Orlando Hernandez, who was hospitalized with the virus and has pneumonia, is improving. Sao Paulo city Mayor Bruno Covas said on Instagram that he’s recovered from Covid-19 after testing positive earlier this month. And Brazil President Jair Bolsonaro said during a Facebook Live session on Thursday that he’s likely already had the virus and may take an antibody test. The president, who has a flair for theatrics, was accompanied by the head of a state-owned tourism company playing “Ave Maria” on an accordion in the background.
Elsewhere in Latin America:
- Residents in greater Buenos Aires metro area are still waiting on word whether social-isolation restrictions will be tightened with an announcement expected mid-day Friday.
- In Peru, lockdown measures end June 30, and President Martin Vizcarra signaled they probably won’t be extended in the same form. Lockdown policies need to take into account that local outbreaks are in different stages across Peru, he said.
- In Chile, Codelco is halting copper processing at a major Chilean mine in one of the first pandemic-driven interruptions to output in the world’s biggest producer of the metal.
- UBS said in a report that contamination curves in Latin America should be flattening by mid-July.
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