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26 Apr, 2021 01:28

Peru’s impeached ex-president, accused of jumping vaccination queue, says he’s tested positive for Covid-19

Peru’s impeached ex-president, accused of jumping vaccination queue, says he’s tested positive for Covid-19

Former Peruvian president Martin Vizcarra has said he has Covid-19 and is symptomatic, nearly two months after provoking a major political crisis when it was revealed he’d received a vaccine as part of a clinical trial.

“Despite the necessary precautions to avoid bringing the virus home, my wife and I have tested positive for COVID and are symptomatic,” Vizcarra announced on Twitter on Sunday.

The Peruvian president until November, Vizcarra was ousted by the parliament over “moral incompetence” as Peru’s GDP plummeted amid the pandemic, which saw the South American country reporting one of the highest Covid-19 death rates in the world.

Also on rt.com China providing vaccines to South America isn’t ‘aggression’ or ‘bullying’, they're just stepping up where Washington failed

It later turned out that Vizcarra’s fall from grace only began with his impeachment. In February, the ex-president was accused of using his position to enroll in the clinical trial of the Chinese Sinopharm Covid-19 vaccine. While Vizcarra insisted that it was “brave” of him and his wife to volunteer for the experiment, a doctor who was in charge of the trial later testified that Vizcarra knew he was getting the real jab, and not a placebo.

The scandal rattled the government, prompting the resignations of Peru’s then health minister Dr. Pilar Mazzetti and Foreign Minister Elizabeth Astete. The latter admitted that she had been vaccinated in January, weeks before the launch of the country's vaccine rollout on February 9, which prioritized healthcare workers.

Also on rt.com Peru’s foreign minister becomes 2nd govt official to step down for receiving Covid-19 jab ahead of priority groups

Earlier this month, lawmakers voted to ban Vizcarra from holding public office for 10 years, while Mazzetti was banned for eight years, and Astete was handed a one-year ban for her role in the so-called “VIP Vaccines” affair.

Peru is using a number of different jabs in a bid to stop the spread of the virus. Apart from Sinopharm, AstraZeneca and Pfizer vaccines have also been deployed in the immunization drive. Last week, Peru’s ambassador to Russia, Juan Genaro del Campo Rodriguez, said that Peru is poised to sign an agreement for the supply of the Sputnik V vaccine as well.

Peru has reported over 1.7 million cases, including nearly 60,000 deaths from the virus, as of Saturday.

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