June 19, 2020 / 2:03 AM / 23 days ago

Honduran president's doctor says he is evolving favorably in COVID-19 treatment

FILE PHOTO: Honduras' President Juan Orlando Hernandez speaks during a joint message with U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) acting Secretary Chad Wolf (not pictured), at the Presidential House in Tegucigalpa, Honduras January 9, 2020. REUTERS/Jorge Cabrera

TEGUCIGALPA (Reuters) - Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernandez has been evolving favorably as he receives treatment at a military hospital for pneumonia after testing positive for COVID-19, but could remain hospitalized nearly another week, one of his doctors said on Thursday.

“I can inform you the president’s evolution so far has been satisfactory. He has not shown any type of pulmonary deterioration or of his general condition,” internal medicine specialist Cesar Carrasco said at a news conference from the military hospital.

When Hernandez announced his positive diagnosis on television late on Tuesday, he said the symptoms were mild and he was feeling better. While his doctors recommended rest, Hernandez said he would work remotely and through his aides.

“He is stable and is not showing symptoms of respiratory distress, but he does always have some fatigue when he walks around his room,” said Carrasco, adding that Hernandez could remain hospitalized five or six more days.

The health news has been a fresh blow to the 51-year-old Hernandez, who has come under increasing pressure at home as one of his brothers was swept up by a drug trafficking probe in the United States that has threatened to engulf him too.

The Central American country has ordered strict containment measures and confirmed 10,739 coronavirus cases and 343 deaths due to the COVID-19 disease caused by the virus. But many Hondurans have not obeyed the lockdown and the figures likely undercount the full impact of the pandemic.

Reporting by Gustavo Palencia; Writing by Anthony Esposito; Editing by Leslie Adler

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