June 25, 2020 / 1:38 AM / 11 days ago

Panama names new health minister as pandemic intensifies

PANAMA CITY (Reuters) - Panama on Wednesday tapped a new health minister to replace Rosario Turner, the public face of its response to the coronavirus pandemic, whose spread has been accelerating in the country in recent weeks.

Luis Sucre, who has served as deputy health minister since July of last year, was named the new health minister.

“The country has a debt to (Turner) that cannot be repaid,” President Laurentino Cortizo said during a brief television address. “A task of this magnitude certainly constitutes a marathon that cannot be victorious without a solid sense of teamwork and without the necessary replacements to ensure the achievement of a strong victory,” Cortizo added.

Cortizo also announced new ministers to lead the ministries of social development as well as housing and land Planning.

Panama has registered a total of 28,030 cases of coronavirus and 547 deaths so far.

Reporting by Elida Moreno; Editing by Sandra Maler

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