April 09, 21 - 8:38 am - LABS

Ecuador’s Lenin Moreno changes health minister for the fifth time since the beginning of the COVID-19 crisis

On Thursday, Ecuador’s President, Lenin Moreno, announced a new health minister – the fifth since the coronavirus pandemic began. Physician Camilo Salinas will now assume as Health Minister of Ecuador.

The previous minister, Mauro Falconí, was only 19 days in office and was dismissed after facing protests for the disorganization to vaccinate the elderly in the country. On his Twitter, President Moreno said: “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.”

The crisis in Lenín Moreno’s office occurs at a time when COVID-19 is worsening in Ecuador (including several restriction measures in Quito and Guayaquil), and three days before the second round of the presidential elections. In the first round, Andrés Arauz (a former minister of Rafael Correa, who ruled the country from 2007 to 2017) got 32.7% of the votes, and Guillermo Lasso (a vocal critic of correísmo – a political movement characterized by state-led development projects and social spending funded largely by commodities exports) conquered 19.7%. Now, the two face each other in the runoff.