Guatemalan President Alejandro Giammattei, 64, said Friday he has tested positive for the new coronavirus. At this time he feels well. “My symptoms are very mild. Up to now, I have body aches, it hurt more yesterday than today, like a bad cold,” the president said. “I don’t have a fever, I have a bit of a cough.” He has multiple sclerosis and uses canes to walk. Giammattei “will be isolating himself from all public activity, and so all communication will be conducted remotely,” the government press office communicated in a statement. He was taking dexamethasone, a corticosteroid that was shown to benefit critically ill COVID-19 patients in Britain, according to the World Health Organization. Giamattei is the fourth Latin American leader to have a confirmed case of coronavirus.Guatemala’s minister of culture also caught the virus. The country just reopened its borders and international flights after a six-month closure due to the coronavirus pandemic. Guatemalans returning to their country and children under 10 would not be subject to a test requirement.
The country has more than 83,600 confirmed coronavirus cases and 3,036 deaths. The country experienced anti-lockdown demonstrations. Alejandro Giammattei, a former surgeon. became Guatemala’s 51th president in January. He promised to build a new Guatemala, creating peace and progress and ending malnutrition and violence while putting an end to what he called disgusting corruption.