The Ecuadorian Minister of Health has lasted only 19 days in office. The same 19 days as its predecessor. The president of Ecuador, Lenín Moreno, has asked Mauro Falconí to resign this Wednesday night four days before the elections due to the disorganization in the vaccination of older adults in Quito hospitals. Lines of waiting hours that, in some cases, have been unsuccessful because the doses against covid-19 had not arrived on time, despite the fact that appointments had been scheduled. Falconí is the fourth person in charge of health policy since the first case of coronavirus was detected in Ecuador on February 29, 2020. He will be replaced by Camilo Salinas.
Falconí starred in a controversial audio, leaked from a meeting by videoconference with the provincial coordinators of the ministry, in which he angrily pressured his subordinates for not even having a database on vaccinated and vaccinated people. The fight occurred on March 29 when there were 182,329 Ecuadorians who had already received the first dose and 62,537, the second. The one million vaccines from the Chinese pharmaceutical company Sinovac scheduled for March had not yet landed in the country, which, in fact, began to arrive this Wednesday with the first 300,000.
“I have no vaccination count,” Falconí snapped to his team, “and at this same meeting the engineer representative Jorge Wated (cabinet secretary of the presidency) is going to enter; Martha Moncayo, representative of the CNT (public telecommunications company), and the representative of the Vice Presidency of the Republic and I want you to listen to the atrocities that are happening in the Ministry of Public Health and the lack of data, which I do not have . What happens? Why the hell don’t we have data? ”He demanded loudly. A week before, Lenín Moreno publicly acknowledged that the national vaccination plan that should have started in mid-January with the arrival of the first batch of 8,000 vaccines was non-existent and that it was only in the “head” of the minister who managed the pandemic for almost a year, Juan Carlos Zevallos. He resigned, left the country immediately, and was replaced by Rodolfo Farfán, who did not arrive a month in office before Falconí was appointed.
According to the president of the Andean country, Falconí “worked a whole weekend without rest” to develop the vaccination plan. That recognition became a public reproach on Wednesday when he announced his departure. “Our seniors deserve the utmost respect. What happened today has no justification. I have requested the resignation of the Minister of Health and he will be replaced by Dr. Camilo Salinas, ”Moreno tweeted. The now former minister has been in isolation for having been infected with coronavirus a week after assuming the Health portfolio.
Ecuador is at the gates of the presidential elections to be held this Sunday at the peak of covid-19 cases, with hospitals without beds free of intensive care. Since last Friday the state of exception and a curfew from eight in the afternoon have been in force, which will limit mobility until this Friday at midnight. Sunday’s vote will not be altered or postponed, according to authorities, due to the health crisis.
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