Brazil President Jair Bolsonaro sacks health minister

Brazilian President Jair Messias Bolsonaro

Brasilia, (Asian independent)┬áBrazil’s minister of health, Luiz Henrique Mandetta, on Thursday announced via Twitter that he was fired by President Jair Bolsonaro amid the country’s campaign to contain the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

“I just heard from President Jair Bolsonaro the notice of my resignation from the Ministry of Health,” Mandetta wrote after meeting Bolsonaro, Xinhua reported.

“I want to thank the opportunity given me to manage our SUS (Single Health System), to launch the project to improve the health of Brazilians and to plan how to tackle the coronavirus pandemic, the great challenge facing our health system,” said Mandetta.

“I thank my entire team at the Health Ministry and I wish my successor success in the post of minister of Health,” he added.

Mandetta, 55, was appointed to the ministry in early 2019.

He has advocated maintaining social distancing measures as an effective way to contain the pandemic, and in recent weeks increasingly clashed with Bolsonaro, who is eager to get Brazil’s economy restarted.