Ecuador names new well being minister after COVID vaccine scandal

Former well being minister stepped down amid questions on irregularities in Ecuador’s coronavirus vaccine programme.

Ecuador has named a brand new well being minister, after the earlier minister stepped down over irregularities in a pilot programme for COVID-19 vaccinations.

President Lenin Moreno on Monday introduced that Rodolfo Farfan, a 63-year-old surgeon who had served as vice minister for complete care within the nation’s well being ministry, would change Juan Carlos Zevallos.

Zevallos resigned on February 26 after questions have been raised about his participation in an inoculation effort at a nursing home the place his mom lives.

Moreno tweeted on Monday that he has confidence in Farfan’s administration of Ecuador’s vaccination programme.

The nation has reported greater than 286,000 instances of COVID-19 and greater than 15,800 coronavirus-related deaths, in keeping with Johns Hopkins University information, and the pandemic has worsened an already dire financial disaster.

Government officers have been pressured to resign in different Latin American nations in current weeks, as effectively, for COVID-19 vaccine queue-jumping.

Argentina’s Health Minister Gines Gonzalez Garcia resigned on February 19 after he was accused of permitting individuals to sidestep the right process to get jabs.

The authorities later launched an inventory of 70 individuals who obtained the vaccine outdoors of the official marketing campaign, together with the 38-year-old financial system minister and former President Eduardo Duhalde, his spouse and their kids.

Thousands of individuals rallied throughout Argentina on the weekend for what has been dubbed the “VIP vaccinations” scandal, holding indicators studying, “Give me my vaccine” and “Stop wasting our money”.

Meanwhile, in Peru, the well being and overseas ministers have been pressured to step down final month after it was revealed almost 500 authorities officers secretly obtained COVID-19 jabs earlier than the vaccines have been obtainable to the general public.

Interim President Francisco Sagasti mentioned 487 officers, together with the previous ministers who stepped down, took benefit of their posts to obtain early inoculations.

2021 02 27T211341Z 93991842 RC291M9GNWC0 RTRMADP 3 ARGENTINA PROTESTSPeople protest towards Argentina’s ‘VIP’ vaccine scandal outdoors the Casa Rosada Presidential Palace in Buenos Aires on February 27 [Agustin Marcarian/Reuters]