A Corozal student passed away this past weekend, reportedly after battling with dengue. 21-year-old Ruggeri Tzul became seriously ill on Sunday, just two days after having been diagnosed with dengue. Reports are that the young man was admitted to the hospital after a blood test showed that his platelets were extremely low. Despite a transfusion, Tzul took a turn for the worst and passed away just before ten o’clock on Sunday night. An unconfirmed count of dengue deaths in Belize for 2019 is five including Tzul’s. Tzul was attending Corozal Junior College at the time of his passing. Love News spoke with a senior official in the Ministry of Health earlier today who noted more than half million dollars have been provided as additional funding in order to acquire more of the mosquito spray, bed nets and house to house awareness visits. The visits are made primarily to homes in the hotspot areas. Deputy Prime Minister Patrick Faber spoke on this health issue today saying more still needs to be done.
Hon. Patrick Faber, Minister of Education, Youth & Sports: “I join with the Ministry of course to encourage the enabling of the environment to not have these kinds of mosquito diseases. I know for instance that some of our school campuses right here in Belize City there are a lot of mosquitoes. My son goes to school with his Off but all our school administrations ought to do what they need to do in order to make sure that the kids who are really kept hostage if you will in the school for the entire day we must do what we need to do in order to make sure that that environment is mosquito free. So I make that appeal to the school administrations to do their part to get rid of still water that is anywhere on the campus and also to do their kind of mosquito spraying if you will or whatever it is they do in order to keep the mosquitoes down. Of course I do wish to sympathize with the families of these two students that you speak of, I think it is an unfortunate thing. This is not something that people should be dying from. We should certainly be at a stage where we could prevent such deaths. We ought to be doing better at educating in terms of these disease but while it is that in this case there are two students I’m sure that the wider population is also being affected and the mosquitoes don’t decide to only bite students and not the parents or don’t bite outside in the larger society as well. So we ought to be doing better overall but we can most definitely sit down in the ministry and see where it is we can be more effective in terms of getting this message out. You have my commitment that that will be done.”
The first dengue related death was in early August in Orange Walk. Since then there have been four more deaths; one in Corozal, two in the south and another in San Ignacio Town. Health authorities are constantly asking residents to take heed and follow the necessary precautions such as keeping yards clean, wear long sleeves, use bed nets and insect repellent and seek immediate medical attention if you have any symptoms.