A construction site was shut down in Punta Gorda Town after one of its workmen tested positive for Covid-19. Toledo Correspondent Paul Mahung has the story.
Paul Mahung, Toledo Correspondent: “Work at a major construction site came to a halt yesterday afternoon due to the most recent COVID-19 case in Toledo. National Public Update on new positive COVID-19 cases in Belize indicated that one of the new recent cases in Toledo is reported in Punta Gorda. The male person from Cayo is an employee at a work site where construction of a complex business belonging to a Chinese businessman is undertaken in the vicinity of Cattle Landing Curve along the northern entrance to town. With the assistance of Punta Gorda Police Ministry of Health authorities brought construction work to a halt in line with COVID-19 preventative measures and for required COVID-19 tests done on other workers of the construction project for their well being and by extension the safety of inhabitants of Punta Gorda. Work is expected to resume once health clearance to do so is confirmed by health authorities. With additional new COVID-19 cases now popping up with one dozen positive cases in Toledo the call by Ministry of Health authorities in this district remains strong in asking Toledo inhabitants to continue to implement and adhere to all COVID-19 preventative regulations and measures individually, in the home and family and all public places.”
Love News spoke to the Director of Health Services Dr Marvin Manzanero on the situation in Punta Gorda and the contact tracing efforts.
Dr.Marvin Manzanero, Director of Health Services: “There was one identified case at the construction site I believe it’s at the entrance of Punta Gorda Town. So again I think the concern from the community was the potential mixing of persons that may have been from the construction site and moving but again contact tracing will start once we identify a case that’s what happens at all construction sites. This would be I believe the fifth construction site across the country. We’ve had one in the Cayo area, one in Belize City, one in Caye Caulker, one in San Pedro and of course now in Punta Gorda so that’s what it is. Once you identify a case you look for close contacts, you see if it came from the family, from wherever he’s coming from, is it from the construction site and so actions are taken contingent on what you find once you have identified a case. The infographics as we try to put them out now we try to specify where they’re coming from. Of course they might be quarantining somewhere else and I think I’ve said that before, I mean the numbers sometimes fluctuate even when we have active cases sometimes a community will seem to have more active cases than the cases they have identified and that could be like let’s say from Belmopan, ten people are from Belmopan they work in Belize City they may be swabbed in Belize City but they come and do their quarantine home in Belmopan so once you upload your active infographic cases you’re gonna have ten cases in Belmopan because they’re active in Belmopan but they were identified in Belize- I’m using that as an example. You notice people from Toledo being identified in Corozal, people in Corozal being identified in Orange Walk, people who are in Orange Walk being identified in Corozal I mean that explains the movement of people that we have.”
Another medical practitioner has tested positive for SARS Covid-2. The doctor’s positive test comes amid several cases of recovery of public health workers who were infected.
Dr.Marvin Manzanero, Director of Health Services: “Most of the health staff particularly in Orange Walk have now recovered. Most of the staff we have had I can say also have been people who have not been visibly symptomatic or who required to be hospitalized. The patient that had stayed the longest in a health facility had been our epidemiologist, he has been discharged home recovering slowly but at home. Just yesterday I believe we had one other doctor that is positive. Again be mindful of the fact that most people are turning out positive it doesn’t seem that people are getting infected work people seem to be getting infected outside in the community. Again when you have to compare yourself to somebody and I’m about to go back and review an article that sites where specifically and why Mexico has the highest amount of health professionals that have died as a result of SARS COV 2. We’re aware that in Central America the beginning of their epidemics had a good amount of medical officers and nurse also dying as a result of SARSCOV2, fortunately it hasn’t been the case in Belize but we can never let our guard down.”
To date Belize has registered one thousand seven hundred and six positive cases of Covid-19. Of that amount six hundred and sixty five are currently active.