Mongolian PM resigns after protests over Covid-19 mother's treatment

DY365
DY365
Published: January 23,2021 04:53 PM
DY365

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January 23, 2021: Mongolian Prime Minister Ukhnaagiin Khürelsükh had resigned on Thursday following protests and public outrage over the treatment of a coronavirus patient and her newborn baby.

January 23, 2021: Mongolian Prime Minister Ukhnaagiin Khürelsükh had resigned on Thursday following protests and public outrage over the treatment of a coronavirus patient and her newborn baby.



Landlocked Mongolia reported just a handful of Covid-19 cases last year after imposing strict border controls, but in November its first domestic transmissions caused a new wave of lockdowns and restrictions.



Anger mounted this week after TV footage showed a woman who appeared to have recently given birth being moved to an infectious disease centre wearing only hospital pyjamas and plastic slippers, despite temperatures dipping to minus 25 degrees Celsius.



After protests outside government buildings on Wednesday, the Mongolian politician apologised on behalf of the government and said he would stand down immediately.



"Unfortunately, we made mistake during relocating that mother," admitted Prime Minister Khurelsukh Ukhnaa Thursday. "It was heartbreaking to see how she was treated."



"As a prime minister, I must take the responsibility."



The video of the woman in an ambulance clutching her baby prompted fierce criticism, particularly as Mongolian tradition dictates new mothers should avoid the cold weather and cold food for the first month after birth.



On Wednesday around 5,000 mostly young protesters gathered in a square opposite government buildings in the capital Ulaanbaatar, some carrying wrapped up bundles to represent babies.



Ulziibayar Purevsuren, 30, held a banner reading "resign" and said she was there to complain about "incompetent doctors".



The vice Prime Minister - also head of the national emergency commission handling the pandemic - had already resigned on Wednesday evening, followed by the minister of health.