Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said on Friday that the need to always wear a face mask in public had not been scientifically proven.
Obrador made the remark one day after the country marked a new record in daily coronavirus cases.
He said doctors had told him that “I do not need a face mask if I keep a healthy distance and in places where it is necessary or is a norm, not to say mandatory, there I put it on.”
“On the plane they ask for it and I put it on,” he said at a news conference in the state of Oaxaca, where he was not wearing a face mask.
Mexico, the world’s sixth worst affected country, on Thursday confirmed a record 8,438 new COVID-19, bringing the total to 370,712 infections and 41,908 deaths.
“In the office I constantly receive citizens, leaders of all social, citizen, political, religious, economic organizations and what we do is also to keep a healthy distance,” Obrador said.
The leftist president criticised the “authoritarianism of politicians” who imposed mandatory lockdowns and said Mexicans “have behaved very well” under a voluntary quarantine.
He said there were signs that the pandemic “is losing strength little by little” in Mexico. (dpa/NAN)