Belizeans becoming laxed in their precautionary measures is not the only concern that has been expressed by the Director of Health Services. Dr. Manzanero explained the dangers of COVID-19 lurk at our northern border and if we are not careful we could see imported cases in Belize. In his statement today he made reference to a Belizean man who had gone across the border over the Easter weekend illegally and is now dubbed a high-risk patient.
Dr.Marvin Manzanero, Director of Health Services: “The overall Quintana Roo state is following the same pattern as the rest of Mexico is which is increasing numbers and they are not expected to peak until the end of May. That’s important that we understand that so that people should not be in a hurry to get across the border. That is another headache that I think we need to highlight we are noticing that people are still either trying to smuggle themselves into Chetumal or smuggle themselves back into Belize that’s a very touchy situation. We have a high risk case right now in Corozal who apparently was in Chetumal – of course illegally because the border is closed, that’s the situation that we really need to take a grasp of that should not be happening. Chetumal doesn’t have that many cases or numbers similar to ones we have in Belize but the overall state of Quintana Roo particularly Cancun, Playa Del Carmen areas have a significant and growing number of cases.”
Since Sunday, April 26 there has been a notable increase of persons on the streets and a heavier flow of vehicular traffic. This is the result of ease in the COVID-19 restrictions that the Attorney General and the Prime Minister announced last week. Now, according to the Prime Minister, Cabinet is advised by the National Oversight Committee, and the National Oversight Committee is advised by the National Task Force. Today, the Chairman of the National Task Force who also serves as the Director of the Health Services, Dr. Marvin Manzanero, expressed concerns over the increase in movement of the people.
Dr.Marvin Manzanero, Director of Health Services: “The major shifting of headaches as I mentioned to the Oversight Committee today was I feel and the sense that we’re getting from the health standpoint is that this week people have been kind of being a little bit more relaxed or laxed in their attitude or at least the perception we have. We’re seeing a vast amount of people on the street, we’re supposed to only be having essential services functional this week but we’re not so sure that that is in point of fact what is happening. We’re seeing people around the parks, people on the streets, along the highway, lots of cars on the highway now and so that is getting us very nervous and we feel that is a major cause of concern and certainly another headache as we move along that we have to grapple with. Let’s not forget the other elements which I think we are sensing that people are starting to forget, I think people are assuming that our cases are going down I put on a mask and I can go about my business so I can put on my mask and go to the river or be travelling on the bus leisurely; remember before you get to the mask if you have no business on the street then stay home. Wash your hands, don’t be touching your face, if you are ill then you cannot be out on the street you should be calling us so that we can come swab you as part of our influenza like illness investigation so the mask becomes your perhaps fourth of fifth layer if you have to be out on the street but that’s consideration as we move along.”