Jul 9, 2020 - World

Bolivia's interim president tests positive for coronavirus

Bolivia's interim President Jeanine Anez speaks at a press conference
Bolivian interim President Jeanine Anez. Photo: Aizar Radles/AFP via Getty Images

Bolivia's interim President Jeanine Añez tested positive for the coronavirus on Thursday, Reuters reports.

Why it matters: She's the latest world leader known to have contracted the virus, joining Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson, and Monaco's Prince Albert II. All have survived, though Johnson was hospitalized and in intensive care for a period in March.

The big picture: The coronavirus is quickly spreading through South America, straining government resources and health care infrastructure.

  • Bolivia has reported nearly 43,000 confirmed COVID-19 cases and just over 1,500 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins data.
  • Bolivia’s Health Minister María Eidy Roca also announced she tested positive for the virus on Sunday and is in stable condition, according to Reuters.

Between the lines: The news of Añez's diagnosis comes with Bolivia in the midst of a prolonged political crisis following the resignation in November of President Evo Morales, who is now in exile.

  • Añez, a hardline conservative, assumed power in a caretaker role but has been accused of punishing Morales’ left-wing allies and overstepping her authority, particularly now that elections have been delayed until October.
  • She is a candidate in those elections.
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