According to regional government sources, the ‘tensions’ in the cabinet have been heightened during the crisis and this resignation proves how palpable the tension has been on how to deal with the crisis in the capital.
Yolanda Fuentes, the general director of Public Health in Madrid has resigned due to her adverse opinion on asking for the region to pass through to stage 1 of the de-escalation plan.
Yolanda Fuentes was a previous medical director at the Carlos III Hospital in Madrid for four years, and the sub-director at the La Paz Hospital for another three years. For this reason and due to her known “professional ethics” she was forced to hand in her resignation, an action which shook up the entire Ministry of Health in Madrid.
According to regional government sources, the “tensions” in the most important Ministry of the coronavirus crisis has been palpable and this resignation proves it. Yesterday, Fuentes who was the first individual to begin implanting measures in Madrid, on March 7, a week before the State of Alarm was enforced, was told she must sign the technical document which proposes that Madrid is ready to leave Phase 0, however she refused to do so, therefore triggering her own resignation.
In her resignation letter, Fuentes argued that her “compromise” with protecting the health system in Madrid forced her to make her decision since the proposal to move forth with Phase 1 was “not based on health criteria” which ideally should prevail over any other criteria. In Spain, Madrid currently remains the focal point of the pandemic with 63,870 cases, 8,504 deaths and 38,670 recoveries.
The resignation forced the president of Madrid, Isabel Diaz Ayuso to replace her with Antonio Zapatero, the medical director of the provisional IFEMA hospital in Madrid.
However, her resignation was not enough to prevent the Community of Madrid from requesting an advance to Phase 1 from the state Executive since they argue they meet the requirements for maintaining a decrease in infections and hospitalised patients, as well as having enough capacity in their healthcare establishments to support the possibility of an additional outbreak of the virus.