fourth Minister of Health in two months

Ecuadorian President Lenin Moreno on Wednesday (April 7) appointed his fourth health minister in two months, after asking the third to resign due to the elderly waiting too long to be vaccinated. Lenin Moreno announced on his Twitter account that he was appointing doctor Camilo Salinas Minister of Health to replace Mauro Falconi, who had only held the post for three weeks.

This change came after the dissemination on social networks of images of elderly people forced to wait sometimes more than seven hours to be able to be immunized against Covid-19 in vaccination centers set up in colleges and sanatoriums in Quito, the capital of Ecuador. These images sparked outrage. A very popular television presenter, Alfonso Espinosa de los Monteros, 79, told on the air that he himself had to wait five hours to be vaccinated.

President Moreno denounced this situation. “Our elders deserve maximum respect. What happened today has no justification. I asked for resignation ” by Mauro Falconi, he tweeted. Mauro Falconi took over three weeks ago from Rodolfo Farfan, who resigned amid the scandal created by the vaccination of people who did not belong to priority groups.

Rodolfo Farfan himself had replaced Juan Carlos Zevallos at the Ministry of Health, who left for the United States after admitting on February 26 that his mother and several other relatives had received the first doses of vaccine obtained by Ecuador. . According to the government’s plan, the vaccination campaign was to start with front-line medical staff and geriatric centers. But it appeared that academics, politicians, journalists and sports leaders had benefited from privileges.

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Ecuador, which faces a second wave of Covid-19, last week again imposed a nine-hour curfew in eight of its 24 provinces, in which around 70% of its 17.4 million people reside. . Since the start of the epidemic, 339,604 contaminations and 17,057 deaths have been recorded in Ecuador. At least 224,000 people have received a first dose of the vaccine.

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