The Belize Peace Movement (BPM), like many other Belizeans, are asking for answers in the death of Hubert Pipersburgh, the first patient to die from COVID-19 in Belize. The BPM stated via a press release that, based on a statement given by Pipersburgh’s wife, there were some aspects of his case that do not adding up. They listed four points; the handling of his case by medical authorities at both the administrative and operational levels; the veracity with which authorities conducted their due diligence in terms of mapping how he contracted the virus; the apparently questionable manner in which he was allegedly, initially denied due care and attention by the GOB’s medical authorities upon seeking assistance; and the level of service he obtained once being admitted to the care of the government’s health system. The chairman of the BPM, Paco Smith, told us today that all they are asking for is truth and transparency.
Paco Smith, Chairman, Belize Peace Movement: “Definitely with the untimely passing of Mr.Hubert Pipersburgh and given the fact that his widow Maria Estella provided a public rendition in terms of the timeline in terms of his unfortunate demise it raises some questions and I’d like to underscore what I’m saying by first putting out there that we are not trying to cause any type of confusion because we understand it’s a state of emergency so first thing we want to say is that Belizeans must remain calm but also tuned. Now with regards to the information that was provided by his widow it brings questions with regards to how he was attended to by certain entities. We’re not pointing any fingers whatsoever but the gist of our press release is to ensure that if there were gaps, if there were shortcomings in the system that the government be upfront in terms of its assessment of the systems, the administration and the carrying out of its duty because this is a very critical situation it’s very important and we would hate to see something of this nature repeat itself. So personally we cannot comment on what happened from what did not happen. As a duly registered civil society organization what we want to do is ensure that the truth comes out and in a situation like this only three people know that being the all mighty and the two principles involved in the said discussion. Again, I’d like to reiterate that the Belize Peace Movement fundamentally wants to ensure that the basic elements of transparency, accountability and things along those lines with regards to this government’s practices and principles remain paramount in this instance and any other that may arise. We’re dealing with a global pandemic and as we stated in the press release I mean there’s no question it’s here, it’s in Belize and we as a nation have to come together whether it be individuals, groups, what have you and work in conjunction with the authorities to ensure that the best interest of the Belizean people is met. Definitely Mr.Pipersburgh’s untimely passing is a tragedy and we definitely do not want to see something like this occur again. If I could take this opportunity though I would like also to stress solidarity with the healthcare workers because we know that the healthcare workers are putting in their pound of flesh and then some, the nurses, the doctors and what have you, and we just want to ensure that they know that the hard work and dedication that they’re putting in is appreciated.”
BPM ended their press release by stating quote, “May the family of the late Mr. Hubert Pipersburgh be comforted in knowing that he shall forever be remembered as a staunch supporter of social justice and in death, his legacy shall resonate as a reminder of the need for suitable policy planning to always be undertaken and executed by the government, across the board, at all levels.” End quote.///