“Belize is still not in the clear” – these are the words of the Director of Health Services, Dr Marvin Manzanero as he updated our newsroom on where we currently are in the fight against COVID-19. While there are no new confirmed cases to report, Dr Manzanero explained that they are still vigilant and are gearing up for what they refer to as randomization testing.
Dr.Marvin Manzanero, Director of Health Services: “Yeah those patients were either swabbed on April 11th or 12th so those patients will be routinely reswabbed again to find out if they’re negative so that should be done throughout this week. I had mentioned also we expect to have more recovered patients throughout this week but we are obviously not in the clear. We have always said that we there needs to be at a twenty eight day period before we can consider – and I need to stress when I say about this outbreak I’m not talking about the COVID-19 outbreak I’m talking about this first wave for Belize and I think people are misinterpreting that. You have subsequent waves of COVID-19 yes, you can and we’re sure you will have if it becomes a seasonal virus. What I’m referring to is exclusively to the 18 cases we have identified now so that I think needs to be very very clear for the general public so we are obviously not in the clear we have a long way to go in that regard because even if you manage to contain this outbreak you’re going to have potential cases as we move along it is not going to go away. The healthcare workers that were exposed to these patients have all turned out to be negative , most of them are being or have been incorporated back to their routine activities and now we’re going to as I said focus on starting to look for any potential asymptomatic cases. I know there’s also a concern and people keep saying this test, test, test but it’s not as, how can I say this so we can understand it, not just you take people off the street to test ,test, test, you really need to ensure that there is a process, that there’s a randomization process that is done based on science then if you are not going to be able to test everybody on the street and even if you test everybody on the street how often are you going to do that because is it that you do a sweep right now of the entire country and then two months later you have to do another sweep when you open your borders kind of thing ? So it’s not as easy as just going about and picking people off the street there is a process that we need to be respectful to and be guided by science.”
The last figures coming out of the Ministry of Health indicate that nine hundred and thirty-six persons have been tested and fifty six are currently under investigation. So far, Belize has had 18 positive tests including two deaths and six recovered patients.