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Deputy health minister Nguyen Truong Son tenders resignation

The Saigon Times

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HCMC – Deputy Minister of Health Nguyen Truong Son has tendered his resignation while the Health Ministry is under inspection in a Covid test kit scam.

The ministry said in a statement yesterday, June 6, that Son has submitted his resignation letter and the Government’s agencies are considering his request.

Last month, the Party Central Committee’s Inspection Commission issued a warning against Son for his involvement in the Viet A test kit price gouging case.

In early January, Son, a member of the Health Ministry’s Party Civil Affairs Committee in the 2016-2021 tenure, was reprimanded by the Prime Minister for his shortcomings while on duty.

As for violations found at the Health Ministry in the 2016-2021 tenure, he had been reprimanded by the Inspection Commission for the first time in early November last year due to violations committed by the ministry’s Vietnam Drug Administration.

Son was picked as Deputy Minister of Health in November 2018 while he was serving as director of Cho Ray Hospital in HCMC.

At the height of the fourth Covid-19 wave last year, he was leading a team of Ministry of Health professionals to major coronavirus hotspots, such as Bac Giang, Bac Ninh and HCMC, to direct the response to the pandemic.

The ministry currently has four deputy ministers: Nguyen Truong Son, Nguyen Thi Lien Huong, Tran Van Thuan, and Do Xuan Tuyen.

Yesterday afternoon, at its extraordinary meeting in Hanoi, the Party Central Committee decided to dispel Health Minister Nguyen Thanh Long from the Communist Party of Vietnam.

Earlier, many Health Ministry officials had been disciplined for their involvement in the Viet A Technology Corporation’s price gouging of Covid test kits.

Viet A was found to have imported three million rapid Covid-19 test kits named Novel Coronavirus 2019-nCoV Antigen Test (Colloidal Gold) from China at US$0.995, or VND21,560 per kit in the last four months of last year, instead of producing such kits locally as announced.

Ministry of Public Security investigators on December 19 last year arrested Phan Quoc Viet, founder and general director of Viet A Technology Corporation, and several accomplices for allegedly violating bidding regulations and gouging prices of Covid test kits.

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