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Belize Experiences a Third Wave of COVID-19

One hundred and forty new COVID-19 cases were confirmed today by health officials. Belize District’s mainland recorded sixty-two new cases with Belize City, once again, recording the most daily new cases at fifty. With today’s tally the total number of cases now stands at one thousand one hundred and thirty-two. Fortunately, there are no new deaths to report. However, there are twenty-one active hospitalizations with six admissions to the Intensive Care Unit. The numbers are troubling and cause for great concern. Senior Reporter, Hipolito Novelo takes a closer look at the figures.

There are more than eleven hundred active cases of COVID-19 in the country. Information collected, reviewed and presented by Total Business Solutions Limited shows that more than three hundred and eighty active cases are in Belize City and that figure continues to rise. And the Old Capital continues to record the highest number of new cases every day as shown by this heat map by TBSL. Belize District, mainland, also holds the record for the highest number of COVID-19 cases since the pandemic hit Belize at 4.782- and that number will undoubtedly rise. The Belize District has also recorded the most number of COVID-19 related deaths at 73 and unfortunately it’s also predicted that this number will also increase. It is for these reasons that Cabinet decided to implement specific measures for the Belize District a few weeks ago. Home Affairs Minister Kareem Musa says that a monthly assessment is conducted to determine if additional measures will be implemented. 

Kareem Musa, Minister of Home Affairs: “At this week’s Cabinet there was no new measure that was announced and so we should not be expecting any changes per se to the SI in that regard but we are very very mindful of the very critical situation that we have at our hospitals. I think yesterday we had three deaths. That’s very alarming and we should not allow ourselves to become numb to the fact that it’s now normal to have three deaths in a day. And so we have to look at that very critically and if at any point the hospital becomes overburdened we will have to take other measures as well.”

Males continue to be the most infected-at 51% of cases while 49% of those cases are females. The 25 to 29 age group among men and women has recorded the most COVID cases. 76 babies, 

39 females and 37 males, have contracted the virus. 

Over 70,000 persons have been fully vaccinated- Minister Musa says that number of frontline workers who have received the jab is also positive. 

Kareem Musa, Minister of Home Affairs: “We’re up to almost 90% with the police department. I know that the teachers are also at 90%. I believe the military BDF at 85% and as far as I’m aware the public officers who have not been complying have been sent home or they have been bringing in their negative tests.”

Last week, Minister Musa along with the Prime Minister and other government ministers met with the Council of Churches with the aim to boosts the number of vaccinated persons among congregations. 

Kareem Musa, Minister of Home Affairs: “They reiterated their commitment to pushing for the vaccine for their congregants to get their congregation to get vaccinated and so they continue as well to work along with the government in that regard and many other regards so they do realize the importance of the vaccination and they’re actually out there supporting this message.”

The figures presented by TBSL are scary- the possibility that the third wave will cripple the country and the economy is becoming real every day. 

Kareem Musa, Minister of Home Affairs: “The moment our cases get to a certain point then Belize no longer looks attractive and so it’s always worth pointing out that the doctors and nurses who are on the front line as well as police officers play an integral part in the rebuilding of our tourism product so it really is a team effort by all.”

And while the number of Covid-19 cases keeps surpassing the 2020 figures, the Ministry of Health has gone into overdrive in getting both adults and teens vaccinated. Prime Minister John Briceno has dubbed Belize as a vax nation reporting that within one week over eight thousand teenagers had received their first shot of the Pfizer vaccine.

John Briceno, Prime Minister of Belize: “We continue to take an aggressive approach in our diplomatic efforts with our friends around the world to source affordable vaccines because we need to move forward with our lives. We have to face reality, getting our children vaccinated will speed up going back to school. We can’t control what the virus does but we can certainly put up a fight to protect our citizens and children. We can argue and talk all we want but what we cannot do is deny the reality that COVID is real and continues to be an immediate disaster.’