May 13, 2020 / 5:22 PM / 13 days ago

Spokesman for Mexican foreign minister has coronavirus

MEXICO CITY, May 13 (Reuters) - The chief spokesman for Mexican Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard has tested positive for coronavirus and an official in the president’s office has died of the disease, bringing the pandemic closer to the inner circle of government.

The spokesman, Roberto Velasco, a close aide to Ebrard, said late on Tuesday he had COVID-19, the illness caused by the virus.

“I will remain at home, coordinating work at a distance,” he wrote on Twitter.

Ebrard is the most prominent minister in the cabinet and works closely with President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador on issues that extend beyond traditional foreign ministry duties.

Ebrard appeared along with several other officials and governors at Lopez Obrador’s daily news conference on Tuesday. Among them, only one of the governors wore a protective mask.

Tuesday was the most fatal day yet for coronavirus in Mexico with 353 deaths. Among those whose deaths were confirmed on Tuesday was an employee of the president’s office who worked in an area responsible for providing attention to citizens.

Several other officials have tested positive in recent weeks including a deputy interior minister and the government ombudsman. (Reporting by Noe Torres; Writing by Frank Jack ; Editing by David Gregorio)

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