MADRID, SPAIN - APRIL 13: Spanish workers wear masks leaving the subway on April 13, 2020 in Madrid, Spain. More than 15,000 people are reported to have died in Spain due to the COVID-19 outbreak, although the country has reported a decline in the daily number of deaths. (Photo by Borja B. Hojas/Getty Images)

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)

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