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News > Ecuador

Ecuador: Lawmakers Dismiss Health Minister Zevallos

  • A man receives a COVID-19 vaccine dose, Ecuador, 2021.

    A man receives a COVID-19 vaccine dose, Ecuador, 2021. | Photo: EFE

Published 27 January 2021

He has been criticized for mishandling the COVID-19 pandemic and irregularities in the vaccination campaign. 

Ecuador's Parliament Tuesday approved the dismissal and the beginning of an impeachment process against Health Minister Juan Zevallos for alleged mismanagement of the COVID-19 vaccination campaign. 


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Lawmakers Doris Soliz and Rodrigo Collaguazo presented the impeachment motion which was approved with 121 votes in favor and four abstentions.

On Monday, Ombudsman Office chairman Freddy Carrion demanded President Lenin Moreno dismiss Zevallos for "lack of transparency" regarding the distribution and delivery of COVID-19 vaccines.

"It is regrettable that the Health Ministry's management is characterized by limitations for access to information regarding different issues such as the contracting of equipment and medical supplies or the scope, impact, and consequences of the pandemic in the country," The Ombudsman Office stated. 

Carrion criticized that 4,000 out of 8,000 COVID-19 vaccines were applied to personnel who were not in the frontline fight against the pandemic, among them MINSAP administrative staff.

The Parliament also approved to request the Attorney General's Office to investigate substantiated allegations of irregularities in the handling of medicines, vaccines, and other related facts by Zevallos' administration. 

On Jan. 7, Moreno announced the purchase of 50,000 doses of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine. The first 8,000 doses arrived on Jan. 20 and the rest will be delivered gradually in February or March.

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