President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador of Mexico

Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador has said that the need to always wear a face mask in public has not been scientifically proven.

His comment is coming, a 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 press conference in the state of Oaxaca, where he was not wearing a face mask.

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Mexico, the world’s sixth-worst affected country, confirmed, as at Friday 7,573 new COVID-19 cases, bringing the total to 378,285 infections and 42,645 deaths.

“In the office, I constantly receive citizens, leaders of all social, citizen, political, religious, economic organisations and what we do is also to keep a healthy distance,’’ Lopez 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.