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Peru health minister resigns over ex-president vaccine scandal: TV

February 14, 2021

LIMA: Peru’s health minister resigned on Friday, state TV reported, amid a growing scandal over claims that former President Martin Vizcarra was vaccinated against Covid-19 before the jab was available to the public.

Pilar Mazzetti -- who had served as the country’s minister of health since July last year -- has presented her letter of resignation to President Francisco Sagasti, state television network TV Peru reported. The government is yet to formally confirm she is stepping down.

Her successor is due to be sworn in Saturday, local media said, and will be the South American nation’s fifth health minister since the pandemic first emerged in the country 11 months ago.

They will take office as the country continues to be hammered by a second wave of Covid-19 -- hospitals are overrun with more than 14,100 coronavirus patients and have reported a lack of oxygen to treat those with breathing problems.

Peru only began its immunization programme on Tuesday, two days after receiving 300,000 vaccine doses from state-owned Chinese company Sinopharm.