39 cases of Covid-19 were identified yesterday. Twenty four hours later the new infographic shows yet another increase of Covid-19 cases. During an edition of Ask the Expert Dr Marvin Manzanero provided an update on today’s data including the recent Covid-19 related deaths.
Dr.Marvin Manzanero, Director of Health Services: “In terms of the preliminary data for today we have 67 positive cases a good amount of those being in Belize district and the Orange Walk district you’ll get a further breakdown once we finish the infographic should be around 6pm. Out of 306 samples processed and we had preliminary 35 recovered cases. With the four deaths yesterday our rates went up to 1.5%. It still I mean when you compare it to other countries and again I keep saying that any single death to us we go back and review and it’s a cause for concern but when you compare it to our neighbors immediately up north they are hovering around 11-13% mortality, our one is around 1.5% but not withstanding that it is still significant. Again you go back and review the data as to why it is that people are dying as we said not everybody is going to necessarily die of acute respiratory failure. For example of the four patients that died yesterday only one of those persons was ventilated the other three just had acute thrombotic conditions such ad myocardial infarctions, strokes, those are the primary driving factors.”
The cases in Orange Walk are rapidly increasing each day over the last few weeks. It is a concern for the Ministry of Health as Dr Manzanero has indicated in previous interviews. Today he said that health officials are looking into the matter.
Dr.Marvin Manzanero, Director of Health Services: “I met with the regional manager yesterday and there’s a team that went up there yesterday and we had the health community and participation technical advisor is in Orange Walk today because we have been revisiting what has been happening and what’s going on in Orange Walk. When we look at the data we have there’s multiple reasons why the situation in Orange Walk doesn’t seem to go down. We have situations that are in rural communities in Orange Walk and situations in urban Orange Walk and they’re all different reasons. You have many social factors as to why people don’t necessarily seek attention promptly some of it is driven by fear people are still fearful of finding out that they have COVID-19. Some people have been very straight forward in saying I don’t think I have COVID-19 I don’t know anybody and people even though they’re symptomatic are still not coming to the health facility. We have been making diagnoses in persons who five, six days later are still coming back to tell us that they don’t believe they have COVID-19 they believe they have something else and so they’re not accepting the diagnosis. I had the regional manager talk to a family member and those calls are logged for more than forty seven minutes in one instance trying to explain to the family the importance of getting others to come in even though people are symptomatic. There’s levels of stigmatization still happening so people feel that they’re going to be stigmatized or they are being stigmatized because of what they have either from their neighbors, from their peers, work place or their own family so that is part of the factor that is driving people having late access to the health services.”
As at yesterday Belize has registered 817 active cases.