The mapping process in the COVID-19 pandemic has been described as challenging by the Director of Health Services. Earlier today, Dr. Manzanero spoke of the extent of mapping health officials have conducted with the seven confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Belize.
Dr.Marvin Manzanero, Director of Health Services: “You don’t also test all the contacts because what you do is you classify contacts into what’s a casual contact and a close contact and then you also stratify the risk; high risk, medium risk, and low risk in your first exercise because two countries only have the ability to test just about everybody, you will test primarily those high risk persons. That doesn’t mean that if they get a negative result they are in the clear they still have to go 14 days into their quarantine and then they will be checked 14 days thereafter or if they develop any sign or symptoms which is what had happened with patient number one when a close contact, initially negative, started developing sign and symptoms was screened was still negative that person then would be screened at day 14 as is the norm before you can declare to be COVID-19 negative. One final thing in terms of mapping, some mapping exercises are easier than others and I can use perhaps the example of patient number five because he came and immediately was taken to the quarantine facility then your exercise only talks about two or three , max four casual contacts not high risk contacts because he went immediately to a room and has remained there. But when you have a patient like patient number seven who is currently hospitalized says he has been ill and hospitalized for six/ seven days then your mapping exercise extends not only to that six/seven days inside a hospital but the days prior to him becoming ill and that’s how you build up your timelines in that regard so not everybody is necessarily going to be mapped in that regard.”