ARGENTINIANS HANG BODY BAGS IN PROTEST VS ‘VIP VACCINATIONS’
Thousands of Argentinians protested over the weekend against what they see as the privileging of politicians, their families and allies in receiving COVID-19 vaccinations, Deutsche Presse-Agentur (dpa) reported.
On Saturday evening (Sunday, February 28, 2021, in Manila), demonstrators hung stuffed black body bags on the gates of Buenos Aires' Government House - a mansion housing the office of the president - to symbolize those dying while waiting to be vaccinated. Some of the mock body bags included the names of pro-government politicians who have received the vaccine.
"The way to demonstrate in a democracy cannot be to display body bags with the names of political figures in front of the Casa Rosada," President Alberto Fernandez wrote on Twitter Saturday evening. A little over a week ago, Fernandez fired health minister Gines Gonzalez Garcia after it became known that people close to the government had been vaccinated out of turn.
In total, the former minister is said to have reserved 3,000 vaccine doses for personal use. The inoculations have been dubbed "VIP vaccinations" by the media and protesters.
There have been similar scandals in other Latin American countries, such as Peru, over early vaccinations for politicians amid shortages for the elderly and frontline workers.
The Bolivian newspaper La Razon reported a dozen "clandestine vaccinations" in La Paz while Brazil, too, registered thousands of complaints about queue-jumpers.