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Carolina Darias becomes Spain’s new Health Minister

Carolina Darias at a recent press briefing. (Pool Moncloa / Borja Puig de la Bellacasa)

Latest: Coronavirus in Spain figures (9 Feb)

Carolina Darias, up to now Spain’s Minister for Territorial Policy and Civil Service, has been appointed Health Minister following the departure of Salvador Illa.

Illa officially quit his role at the health ministry on Tuesday to run in the elections scheduled in Catalonia on 14 February, as head of the Catalan Socialists (PSC) party, and in an effort to try and win the presidency and government away from the current pro-independence parties.

Illa has left the ministry at the height of Spain’s worst statistics for Covid-19 since the start of the pandemic. Figures released on Monday put the number of people who have tested positive for Coronavirus at 2.6 million – with intensive care units across hospitals in Spain currently 40% occupied by Covid-19 patients. The overall incidence rate is also 884 per 100,000 inhabitants over 14 days – the highest figure it has been throughout the pandemic.

Miquel Iceta, who Illa is replacing as the head of the Catalan socialists party, is replacing Darias as Minister for Territorial Policy.

Darias, from the Canary Islands, has said that she takes on the ‘challenge’ at the health ministry with ‘enthusiasm, responsibility and a lot of humility’.

ALSO READ: Spanish health minister quits role to run for presidency of Catalonia

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