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Guatemalan president joins ranks of world leaders with coronavirus

Kitco News

GUATEMALA CITY (Reuters) - Guatemalan President Alejandro Giammattei revealed on Friday that he had tested positive for the coronavirus, just as the Central American country was easing draconian travel restrictions imposed months ago to contain infections.

“The coronavirus test result was positive,” Giammattei told a local radio station, adding that he had been tested six times during the pandemic.

Three days ago, the 64-year-old president removed his face mask to deliver an Independence Day speech in Congress.

Guatemala opened its international airport to commercial flights for the first time since mid-March on Friday and also reopened its borders.

Giammattei did not say whether he was experiencing any symptoms related to the virus, but said he planned to address the nation about his health later on Friday.

Only a few other world leaders have had confirmed coronavirus cases, including Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson. The president of neighboring Honduras came down with the illness earlier in the pandemic.

Guatemala has registered 84,344 coronavirus infections so far and 3,076 deaths.

Reporting by Sofia Menchu; Writing by Laura Gottesdiener; Editing by Frank Jack Daniel and Tom Brown

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