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Spain's new Minister of Health is announced as Salvador Illa pursues top job in Catalonia

The new Minister of Health, Carolina Darias.
The new Minister of Health, Carolina Darias. / EFE
  • Carolina Darias takes charge of the department as the third wave of the coronavirus pandemic sweeps across the country

Carolina Darias has taken up the reigns at Spain’s Ministry of Health just days after the country recorded the worst weekend of the entire pandemic during the third wave of the virus.

Salvador Illa quit his top post at the height of the pandemic to follow political aspirations in the forthcoming Catalan regional elections.

Carolina Darias was born in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria in 1965 and started her political career in 1999 before moving on to become the first woman to preside over the Canary Islands parliament.

On 12 March 2020, it was reported that Darias had been infected by SARS-CoV-2, the virus that caused coronavirus pandemic. She was the second member of the Spanish government to be infected by the virus, after it was reported that Minister of Equality Irene Montero had tested positive for the virus earlier the same day.

However, the challenge Darias now faces is almost certainly greater than the one that Illa faced in March when there was less knowledge of the virus and a vaccine was not on the horizon.

Spain is now submerged in the middle of the third wave after registering the worst weekend of the entire pandemic.