The Ministry of Health is expecting a shipment of medication that would assist patients who develop bacterial pneumonia as a result of COVID-19. According to Dr. Manzanero, the shipment is earmarked for pregnant women and children only. He also spoke of medications in stock in Belize.
Dr.Marvin Manzanero, Director of Health Services: “I think it’s too early to say. I think we can just champion the fact that we do seem to have a very high coverage, very good coverage of BCG but I am not going to bank on that. I’m not going to tell anybody okay we have good coverage let’s – it doesn’t’ work like that. European countries, the US doesn’t have as a matter of fact I don’t think BCG is part of the vaccination schedule which is why when you have Belizeans going to the US and get the PPD test it’s reactive but we it’s because it’s because we have gotten our BCG vaccine, for them they might consider that you have latent Tuberculosis because their guidelines are different but we are not banking on that. That’s not a reason why we let our guard down. Similarly if you’re out of the Cayo district it doesn’t mean that anybody is in the clear and you let your guard down I mean everybody is in heightened surveillance and you need to be doing the same thing as well.”
International reports are saying that there may be some benefit in fighting COVID-19 for persons who were administered the BCG vaccine. One European article published this week refers to a recent study that reveals the benefits of BCG. The article wrote, quote, “We found that countries without universal policies of BCG vaccination (Italy, Netherlands, USA) have been more severely affected compared to countries with universal and long-standing BCG policies”. According to Belize’s Director of Health, it is not safe just yet to bank on those reports.