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Bolivia – Deputy Minister dies of new coronavirus

The Bolivian government said on Saturday that Gonzalo Rodriguez, deputy minister responsible for combating smuggling, has died from the novel coronavirus.

According to government officials, Mr. Rodriguez was admitted to the hospital two weeks ago after contracting the disease. His condition eventually worsened and he died overnight from Friday to Saturday.

Bolivian President Luis Arce expressed his regret over the death of his deputy minister and sent his condolences to his family.

“His spirit of solidarity and his commitment to the people will be an inspiring light along the way. Our condolences to his family. We are with them in their pain,” he tweeted.

Mr. Rodriguez was a career soldier and became deputy minister in 2018 in the government of then-President Evo Morales. He took over this post in November 2020 to lead the fight against the illegal entry of goods into the country.

The new coronavirus is spreading to different regions of Bolivia, which has recorded 245,719 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 11,547 deaths linked to the disease.

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