Sep 19, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Guatemalan president tests positive for COVID-19


Guatemalan President Alejandro Giammattei. Photo: Johan Ordonez/AFP via Getty Images

Guatemalan President Alejandro Giammattei has tested positive for the coronavirus, his staff confirmed on Friday.

Why it matters: Giammattei, 64, is among a number of world leaders to test positive for COVID-19 since the pandemic began — illustrating the universality of the illness.

What they're saying: Giammattei, who also has multiple sclerosis, told a local radio station on Friday that he is feeling well, but the AP notes he seemed to have labored breathing during a television address.

  • "My symptoms are very mild. Up to now, I have body aches, it hurt more yesterday than today, like a bad cold,” Giammattei said. “I don’t have a fever, I have a bit of a cough."
  • Giammattei “will be isolating himself from all public activity, and so all communication will be conducted remotely," the federal government press office said, per AP.

The big picture: The news of Giammattei's illness come as Guatemala reopened its borders and resumed international flights this week, nearly six months after coronavirus-related closures.

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