The man in the spotlight during the first two years of the COVID-19 pandemic in Quebec, Dr. Horacio Arruda, has been appointed assistant deputy minister at the Ministry of Health and Social Services.

The ministers' council announced his appointment in a press release Wednesday evening without giving further details.

Arruda had served as public health director since he was appointed by then Health Minister Yves Bolduc in 2012.

But he tendered his resignation to Premier François Legault in January 2022, at a time when hospitalizations were peaking in the province due to COVID-19.

Arruda had faced fierce criticism for recommending a curfew as one of the health measures during the pandemic.

Others questioned his competence after he said rapid tests and mask-wearing create a false sense of security.

His position of public health director was succeeded by Dr. Luc Boileau.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published in French on June 8, 2023.