The Belize Central Prison has now reported zero cases of Covid-19 within its prison walls. The news came out yesterday; seventy-one days after registering its first case of the virus. The numbers began to slowly climb behind the prison but was brought under control after one hundred and ninety-seven persons tested positive. All persons were isolated and given health packs from the Ministry of Health and Wellness which seemed to have done the job without having any critical cases. Virgilio Murillo, CEO at the Kolbe Foundation stated that the protocols at the prison remain in place but he is mindful that COVID-19 virus re-entering the prison may be inevitable.
Virgilio Murillo, CEO, Kolbe Foundation: “We got here because of the enforcement of the protocols and measures that needed to be enforced. Remember I’d always said that the last thing we had wanted for COVID to enter the prison because it can rage like a wild bush fire when it enters the facility but we had to be smart and we had to apply the mitigation practices as is recommended by the World Health Organization once it had entered the prison gates. And obviously I will attribute it to the enforcement of the protocols more than anything else I will say the twenty one days lockdown which allowed us to at least control the virus and letting it dissipate if you want to use that word, so that is why we’re here today and I’m very elated about that. Remember I keep saying that for COVID to enter any prison at all it is just a matter of time. It is just like for it to enter any community it was just a matter of time. At some point you won’t be able to stop COVID all together and remember too let’s not forget that what the prison experienced with this virus it was lot of what you call asymptomatic cases you know and what we have done with those cases really is isolated them, quarantined them out of precaution and after the required number of days in isolation then the inmates were cleared as clinically cleared. So our measures will remain in place the wearing of face masks, the hand hygiene, the social distance, certainly checking for temperature and not allowing anyone with flu like symptoms to enter the prison until they have gone and taken a PCR test to show that they don’t have the virus. All of those measures you know trying to – well all the protocols I should say for COVID will be enforced as we were doing all along just that at some point it’s inevitable to enter because of the asymptomatic cases particularly.”
Out of the total active cases only twenty to thirty percent were symptomatic.