Venezuela oil minister says he has recovered from COVID-19

Venezuela's economy vice president Tareck El Aissami uses a protective mask at Simon Bolivar International Airport amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak in Caracas, Venezuela March 28, 2020. Picture taken March 28, 2020. REUTERS/Manaure Quintero

(Reuters) - Venezuelan oil minister Tareck El Aissami said on Wednesday he had recovered from the novel coronavirus, a month after he tested positive for COVID-19.

El Aissami, who is also the OPEC nation’s economic vice president and was named to the position of oil minister earlier this year, said on Twitter he had received a negative result on a rapid test for the virus.

“Thanks to President Nicolas Maduro and [first lady] Cilia Flores for all their support and strong prayers,” El Aissami wrote. “We have overcome.”

Venezuela, whose oil industry and economy have unraveled during Maduro’s six-year tenure, has reported 27,938 cases of the coronavirus and 238 deaths.

Besides El Aissami, the most prominent member of the ruling socialist party who has tested positive is Diosdado Cabello, who presides over the government-friendly National Constituent Assembly and is widely recognized as Maduro’s second-in-command.

Cabello has rarely been seen in public since testing positive in early July, though last week state-funded media outlets published images of him standing and waving outside a health clinic.

Reporting by Luc Cohen in New York; Editing by Bernadette Baum