10 Jul 2020

Bolivian president Anez tests positive for Covid-19

12:05 pm on 10 July 2020

Bolivian President Jeanine Anez has tested positive for the novel coronavirus but says she feels well and strong.

Bolivian interim President Jeanine Anez.

Bolivian interim President Jeanine Anez. Photo: AFP

Anez said in a tweet she was "well" and continuing to work while in isolation. "Together, we will come out of this," she said.

The Bolivian government confirmed that at least seven ministers, including its health minister, had tested positive and were either undergoing treatment or recuperating at home.

Anez said she had conducted a test given that many of her team had fallen ill.

"I feel well, I feel strong, I am going to keep working remotely from my isolation, and I want to thank all the Bolivians who are working to help us in this health crisis," she said.

Bolivia is due to hold general elections on 6 September. The elections were originally planned for May but delayed due to the pandemic.

Political turmoil gripped the country last October when a disputed election led to widespread protests that eventually toppled longtime leftist leader Evo Morales.

Anez, a conservative former senator, assumed the interim president role in the political vacuum and initially said she would not run for full office, but later threw her hat in the ring.

Rival candidate and former president Jorge Tuto Quiroga, who is running again, said it was "indispensable" for Anez to be in full health and working towards the democratic transition.

Other leaders around the world also have contracted the virus.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, 55, spent three days in intensive care sick with Covid-19, while Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro confirmed he had tested positive.

Bolivia, a landlocked Andean nation of more than 11.5 million people has registered at least 42,000 confirmed cases of the disease and 1500 deaths and is one of the worst affected countries per capita in the world.

- Reuters

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