Bolivian Vice President, Six Ministers Test Positive for COVID-19

Bolivian Vice President David Choquehuanca and six Cabinet ministers tested positive for COVID-19, officials announced on Jan. 11.

According to a statement from the Ministry of the President, Choquehuanca and the infected ministers are self-isolating and working from home with no major symptoms.

The six infected ministers were Interior Minister Eduardo del Castillo, Defense Minister Edmundo Novillo, Foreign Minister Rogelio Mayta, Education Minister Edgar Pari, Justice Minister Iván Lima, and Development Planning Minister Gabriela Mendoza.

The statement added that all had been vaccinated, but Choquehuanca has had only one dose of the vaccine.

Choquehuanca contracted the virus for the third time a week after he received the first dose of China’s Sinopharm vaccine.

Choquehuanca, who is a member of the Aymara indigenous group, revealed in December that he contracted COVID-19 twice and claimed that he recovered using traditional medicine, which spurred controversy.

Choquehuanca said he would get the vaccine to end the controversy.

“We have to take care of the health of the Bolivian people with the two medicines: pharmacological medicine and natural, ancestral, and traditional medicine to defeat COVID-19,” Choquehuanca said on Jan. 3 on Twitter when he got the first vaccine dose.

According to data from the Johns Hopkins University (JHU), Bolivia recorded 8,857 new cases, bringing the nationwide total to 686,023.

Data from JHU also showed that Bolivia recorded 16 new deaths, bringing the toll to 19,999.

About 41.80% of the Bolivian population is fully vaccinated, according to JHU.

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