Czech Minister of Health Adam Vojtěch announced his resignation at a press conference on Monday morning, saying he has already handed over his resignation to Prime Minister Andrej Babiš.
“I have decided to resign as minister of health. I have already given my resignation to the Prime Minister,” said Vojtěch.
In recent months, several politicians have called on the minister to resign, however, Babiš rejected such a request. The resignation of Vojtěch thus surprised many.
In his latest statements, the health minister said that he should have tried harder to make wearing face masks indoor mandatory at the end of August. At the time, Babiš had the opposite opinion, though.
“I came to the Ministry of Health to make some changes. The coronavirus epidemic did not allow me to do so. I tried to do everything in my power to move the healthcare system forward. I put my heart and all my might in being the Minister of Health,” said Vojtěch.
We managed the first wave well
According to Vojtěch, the Czech Republic managed the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic well.
“But when the coronavirus came, I became the minister of COVID-19. We have been dealing with it for nine months. I think that all my colleagues and I have done our utmost to protect our citizens from getting infected. We managed the first wave of the epidemic well, being an example for the rest of Europe,” added Vojtěch.
He also stated that during his era, several changes in health care were completed or launched.
“I am convinced that I have done my utmost to manage the COVID-19 epidemic. I have nothing to be ashamed of,” he concluded, thanking the prime minister for the trust he placed in him when naming him the minister of health.
Babiš responded to the resignation of Vojtěch on Twitter.
“I thank @adamvojtechano very much for the work he has done in the health care sector. He is a decent, honest, and very hardworking person. I am convinced that if he did not have to expend all his energy on the fight with coronavirus, he would one day be remembered as the best Minister of Health,” wrote Babiš
“He has done more work at the ministry than most of his predecessors. And he managed the first wave of the virus incredibly well. I understand that it must have been too much for him, that he was disgusted with politics and the media and decided to leave. Thank you. For everything. And I wish him only the best in his life and further career,” added the prime minister.
Meanwhile, the Czech Republic is seeing rapid growth in the number of new coronavirus cases. According to the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC), after Spain, Czechia is currently the second-worst country in the European Union in terms of the spread of the disease.
Title image: The former Minister of Health Adam Vojtěch (Facebook / Adam Vojtěch)