By Robbie Whelan
Mexican businessman Jose Kuri Harfush, one of the earliest confirmed cases of coronavirus in Mexico, died Sunday after a monthslong struggle with Covid-19 that included weeks at a time on a ventilator.
Arturo Elias Ayub, a spokesman for billionaire telecom mogul Carlos Slim's conglomerate Grupo Carso, where Mr. Kuri served for decades as an executive at various companies, confirmed Mr. Kuri's death. Mr. Kuri was a board member at Inbursa Financial Group, Mr. Slim's bank, and served on the audit committee of Mr. Slim's fixed-line telephone company, Telmex.
Mexico's Foreign Minister, Marcelo Ebrard, lamented Mr. Kuri's death in a Twitter message on Sunday. Mr. Elías declined to comment further.
Mr. Kuri was part of a group of more than 500 wealthy Mexicans who visited Vail, Colo., for an annual winter vacation in February. More than 50 of them contracted the coronavirus on the trip, including Jaime Ruiz Sacristan, president of Mexico's stock exchange, who died in April from complications related to the coronavirus at age 71.
Mexico reported 4,973 new cases and 342 deaths on Monday, for a total of 395,489 total confirmed cases and 44,022 deaths, maintaining its fourth-highest death total of any country in the pandemic. Daily new cases in Mexico have fallen from record highs in recent days.
At Tuesday morning's daily presidential press briefing, Hugo Lopez-Gatell, Mexico's coronavirus czar, appeared without a face mask and described face coverings as an "insufficiently effective barrier" to the spread of the disease. He added that it was important to wear face coverings when indoors, and urged Mexicans to continue washing their hands regularly.