News May 04, 2020 at 08:30 am

Outrage as Ivory Coast PM flies to France for medical treatment amid COVID-19

Mohammed Awal May 04, 2020 at 08:30 am

May 04, 2020 at 08:30 am | News

Ivory Coast Prime Minister Amadou Gon Coulibaly wearing a protective face mask. REUTERS/Luc Gnago/File Photo

As the number of leaders of nation-states are busily coordinating their countries’ responses to the deadly novel coronavirus, Ivory Coast’s Prime Minister, Amadou Gon Coulibaly, is flying to France for medical tourism.

Gon Coulibaly, who is also the ruling party’s candidate in the country’s October presidential election, flew to France for medical checkup on Saturday, the presidency said.

Ivory Coast has recorded 1,398 cases of the coronavirus, one of the highest cases in West Africa, with 17 deaths at the time of filing this report.

The statement announcing Gon Coulibaly’s departure said he left the country Saturday without giving details of health status. But a source close to the prime minister said he missed scheduled checkup in France last month because of the need to lead the country’s coronavirus battle, Reuters reported. In 2012 he had heart surgery.

“His intense activity these last weeks had an impact on his health, but it is nothing very serious. He is doing well,” the source told Reuters.

The announcement that the prime minister had flown to France for medical checkup sparked outrage online, describing the move as “sad.”

“Ivory Coast, one of the best economy/advanced technology, first minister flew to France due to medical check-up . This means Ivory has poor and lack medic-equipments. What about other African Nations? — Mohamed A Hachi (@MohamedHachi99) May 4, 2020

The presidency said Defence Minister, Hamed Bakayoko, will serve as interim prime minister in Gon Coulibaly’s absence, as he’s expected back in a few days.

Gon Coulibaly was selected in March by President Alassane Ouattara as the ruling RHDP party’s candidate for the presidential election after declining to seek a third term.

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