MEXICO CITY (Reuters) – Mexico’s health ministry late on Sunday rejected media reports that the country had registered its first coronavirus death, saying that the person reported to have died, businessman Jose Kuri, was alive but in critical condition.

Earlier on Sunday, veteran broadcaster Joaquin Lopez-Doriga said on Twitter that Kuri had died after testing positive following a trip to the United States. Other prominent journalists published reports on Kuri’s death.

Later, other media began to dispute those accounts, saying that Kuri was seriously ill but alive.

As of 11 p.m. (0500 GMT), Kuri had not died but was in a critical state, the health ministry said in a statement.

Speaking on condition of anonymity, two sources familiar with the matter had told Reuters the reports of the death were correct. Both later said they had been misinformed. One added that Kuri was in a very delicate condition.

Animal Politico, a Mexican online news site, said Kuri’s family had confirmed his death, without giving details. But another online news site, SDP Noticias, said that while Kuri was in a “very serious” condition, he had not died.

Newspaper Reforma also said Kuri was in a critical state.

Kuri has been on the board of some companies controlled by Mexico’s richest man, Carlos Slim, including bank Grupo Inbursa.

Reuters could not immediately reach either Kuri’s family, or Inbursa, to seek comment.

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