MEXICO CITY (AP) — As coronavirus cases spike in Mexico and tests become scarce, President Andrés Manuel López Obrador told Mexicans Monday to just assume they had COVID-19 if they had symptoms.
The number of confirmed cases in Mexico spiked by 186% last week.
López Obrador claimed the Omicron variant is “a little COVID,” noting hospitalizations and deaths had not increased at the same rate. However, experts say those are both lagging indicators that may not show up for weeks after infections spike.
Reading advice posted on Twitter by a supporter, the president said Mexicans with symptoms should just stay at home, take paracetamol and isolate, rather than going out and trying to find tests.
Since Christmas, private pharmacies and the few available testing centers have been overwhelmed by long lines.
López Obrador’s administration has long refused to implement mass testing, calling it a waste of money. He called on companies not to require COVID tests for employees.