La Paz, Apr 3 (EFE) .- Three women in charge of the custody of 500 vaccines against covid-19 were apprehended in a Bolivian town in the Amazon department of Beni for stealing the doses that were later returned by “hooded men” , reported this Saturday the Prosecutor’s Office.

“Three civil servants of the Departmental Health Service have been apprehended, who were responsible for handling these doses,” Beni’s departmental prosecutor, Ruthiar Vásquez, informed Efe.

The three officials were in charge of guarding these doses in a health center in the Bolivian town of Guayaramerín, near the border with Brazil, from where 500 vaccines disappeared last Thursday.

The three officials were charged with an attack against public health and theft, Vásquez said.

The departmental prosecutor indicated that raids were carried out, statements were also taken from other officials to clarify the case that is still under investigation and that the hearing of precautionary measures of the three women is now awaited.

The vaccines disappeared last Thursday from the Los Almendros health center in Guayaramerín and upon realizing the fact, the managers of the local health network reported the situation to the Special Force to Fight Crime.

That same day, the Minister of Government (Interior), Eduardo del Castillo, reported through his social networks that they found “the people who seized the vaccines” and that “the respective measures are being taken.”

Vásquez said that the vaccines “were left by two hooded men” near the health center where they were stolen and then “they proceeded to flee.”

All the vaccines were returned, but these doses cannot be used because it is unknown if the cold chain was maintained and if they were treated properly, the coordinator of the Guayaramerín Health Network, Maicol Borches, informed the media.

The Bolivian government intensifies the vaccination of the inhabitants of border towns with Brazil to avoid cases with the new variant from that country.

The closure of borders with Brazil was also determined from this Friday for a period of seven days, although the border crossing will be opened for three hours.

Bolivia accumulates 273,947 confirmed cases and 12,305 deaths, since the first contagion was identified in March of last year.

(c) EFE Agency

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