The Fourth COVID-19 wave is here and the Ministry of Health and Wellness is asking the public to take all measures to prevent the further spread of the virus. Today the ministry recorded an additional 117 new cases. This puts the number of active cases at more than seven hundred. More than two hundred and fifty cases are under investigation. Eight persons are currently hospitalized. The positivity rate now stands at ten point nine percent. Making the situation more concerning is the fact that this morning, the ministry confirmed that the predominant variant circulating in Belize is the Omicron BA.2. Director of Health and Wellness, Dr. Melissa Diaz says this was established during a recent genome-sequencing of positive COVID-19 swabs at the Central Medical Lab.
Dr.Melissa Diaz-Musa, Director of Public Health and Wellness: “In the last set of swabs that were sequenced we had 93% of the swabs show omicron BA2 with the rest being a BA1 and from the beginning of this year from February we had announced that omicron was circulating and that was 100% BA1 and then now we have seen the shift. So we wanted the general public to be aware of this as well as to be aware of the fact that the positivity rate continues to increase and we know that since the 5th or 6th of May we’ve been looking at a slight increase and from the 11th of May the positivity rate has continued to increase where on the 17th it went to 10.3 and on the 18th 8.33. So we are definitely seeing another wave with COVID-19 and to reiterate it is omicron BA2 that the predominant variant circulating in Belize currently. We do have areas in the country that we’re seeing more positive cases and like other waves it’s very similar. The district of Belize has the highest number of positive cases as well as the highest with regard to positivity rate as well. Followed behind by Cayo and then the other districts we are not seeing the number of positive cases that we did in the other waves so we are focused primarily in the Belize district looking at the significant number of positive cases coming out of the Belize district.”
Dr. Diaz says that the ministry has now increased surveillance measures in businesses and other public places to identify and isolate positive cases early.
Persons who have been in close contact with a positive case or persons who have any flu-like symptoms should visit a health facility or testing site for swabbing. Persons affected are presenting primarily headache, sore throat, and fever; however, other symptoms like cough, difficulty breathing, body pain and aches have also been reported. The Ministry of Health & Wellness urges the public to work together to sustain the health of the nation.