Chile: Pinera dismisses Health Minister Manalich for his handling of coronavirus pandemic

Chilean President, Sebastian Pinera dismissed Health Minister, Jaime Manalich on Saturday and announced that he would be replaced by Enrique Paris, former president of the Medical Association, and a member of the COVID-19 Committee that advises the Health Ministry. Pinera thanked Manalich's «commitment and his total dedication» at a press conference at the Palacio de la Moneda. The president also commented on Paris, highlighting his «courage» and his «deep love for Chile and Chileans» in taking office during the pandemic. Finally, he called for «unity, with collaboration, with goodwill, with dialogue, with agreements» and appealed to the «responsibility and solidarity» of citizens to respect the regulations established by the Ministry of Health to combat the coronavirus. The dismissal came hours after the research had been published by the CIPER news outlet, which revealed that the Ministry of Health had been reporting to the WHO (World Health Organization) a higher number of deaths than it reported daily inside the country. According to data from Johns Hopkins University, to date, Chile has registered 167,355 cases of COVID-19 and 3,101 deaths related to it, although according to CIPER the number of deaths could exceed 5,000.

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