Salvador Illa, in the midst of a pandemic and a vaccination campaign, is no longer Spanish Minister of Health. After resigning and parachuting into Catalonia to run for president, he gave way to Carolina Darias.
The vaccination campaign is blocked and the Covid is out of control in Spain. Salvador Illa made the boxes of his Spanish Ministry of Health to take refuge in an office in rue Pallars in Barcelona, headquarters of the Socialist Party. From there, he will campaign to try to become the next president of Catalonia in the ballot on February 14.
600 kilometers away, at Paseo del Prado, Carolina Darias takes over as head of the Ministry of Health in Madrid. Former Minister of the Public Service, licensed in law, this 55-year-old Canarian has no experience in the field of health. If this is not its recent incorporation in the meetings of the inter-territorial council to advise the regions on the measures to be adopted in an attempt to limit the pandemic.
From today, she will have to manage the 80 million doses of Covid vaccine that the government has committed to administer to the population by the summer. With almost zero probability of meeting deadlines. In one month, only 2.5% of Spaniards received the first dose of the vaccine. We still have to inject the second into these same people. The country is in a shortage of doses due to production and delivery problems from pharmaceutical companies, especially Pfizer. If the pace does not pick up, it will take 35 months for the Spanish government to vaccinate 70% of the population. Assuming that the duration of Immunity does not exceed one year, the vaccination campaign is likely to resemble the torture of Sisyphus.
Covid out of control in Spain
The Ministry of Health must also manage the spread of the virus which has grown out of control. With 828 cases per 100,000 inhabitants on average, Spain is one of the most affected countries in Europe alongside Portugal and the United Kingdom. This has led Brussels to place the three countries on the list of countries where travelers are invited not to go. Despite the multiple requests from doctors and epidemiologists to order home confinement, the Ministry of Health refuses to do so. For economic reasons certainly, for political reasons with the election of Salvador Illa in Catalonia, possibly.
The structure of the Ministry of Health will remain unchanged despite the arrival of Carolina Darias. The director of the health emergency center Fernando Simon, responsible for announcing the figures of the pandemic every evening and providing advice on the measures to be followed, remains in place.