Chile health minister resigns amid coronavirus cases reporting controversy

Chile health minister resigns amid coronavirus cases reporting controversy

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Chile President Sebastian Pinera has replaced Health Minister Jaime Manalich amid controversy over the country’s figures for deaths from the coronavirus outbreak.

Pinera said Manalich had spared “no effort” in carrying out his “difficult and noble duty” to protect Chileans` health. He replaced him with Oscar Enrique Paris, an academic and medical doctor.

The country now has the highest number of confirmed cases per million people in Latin America, reporting 167,355 cases on Saturday and 3,101 deaths.

There have been frequent reports of spats among health ministry officials, and Manalich has been criticized by opposition politicians, mayors, medical experts and social groups for refusing to release more detailed contagion data or apply lockdowns sooner and for successive changes in criteria for recording deaths and cases.

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