Mexico's finance minister Arturo Herrera tests positive for Covid-19

Arturo Herrera in a photo from his Facebook page. PHOTO: FACEBOOK

MEXICO CITY (REUTERS) - Mexican Finance Minister Arturo Herrera on Thursday (June 25) said he has tested positive for the novel coronavirus, becoming the most high-profile member of President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador's government to be infected during the pandemic.

Herrera, who is part of Lopez Obrador's inner circle, was seen in a video standing next to the president on Monday at the National Palace, where both men have their offices.

Herrera said on Twitter that he had only "minor" symptoms.

The virus has hammered Mexico's economy and brought life to a standstill for many months.

"From this moment, I will be in quarantine, and continue working from my house," Herrera said.

The president's office did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

It is not clear if Herrera's positive diagnosis will impact Lopez Obrador's planned trip to Washington next month to meet US President Donald Trump.

Mexico has in recent weeks darted up the list of the world's most affected by the coronavirus, registering a total of 196,847 known cases and 24,324 deaths, the seventh-highest death toll globally.

Lopez Obrador's government has been criticised by some Mexicans for its handling of the pandemic, including accusations that the president did not take the virus seriously enough at the start and sent the wrong signal by not wearing a mask in public.

Lopez Obrador has also decided to restart touring the country despite the virus showing few signs of slowing down.

Last week, Herrera accompanied the president on his visit to the central Mexican state of Hidalgo.

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