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LOO Questions GOB on the COVID-19 Situation and Vaccination Numbers

As part of today’s House Meeting the Leader of the Opposition, Moses Shyne Barrow had submitted questions for the government. His concerns were primarily directed to the Covid-19 situation. His first question was fielded to Prime Minister John Briceno.

Moses “Shyne” Barrow, Leader of the Opposition: “Will the Prime Minister and Minister of Finance member from Orange Walk Central say when he will follow through on his promise to reconvene the bipartisan COVID-19 national oversight committee ?”

John Briceno, Prime Minister of Belize: “Madam Speaker I am going to be kind to the Leader of the Opposition because we still really don’t know who really is leading the UDP. But if the Leader of the Opposition would have checked with the leader of the party or less than 50% of the members he would have told you member that the Ministry of Health and Wellness did invite the opposition to join the National Medical COVID-19 response team. I have a copy of the letter on the 17th of December of 2020. The letter was also sent to the Belize Network of Nongovernment Organizations who at that time is now the Governor General Ms.Froyla Tzalam. They recommended Andre Carrillo the Executive Director for BERT and then the Belize Chamber of Commerce and Industry they nominated Dr.Jorge Hidalgo. If the Leader of the Opposition is still interested in nominating a person go ahead but please nominate a good person, that’s all I’m asking from you and that you not go and play politics in the group.”

Moses “Shyne” Barrow, Leader of the Opposition: “Thank you Prime Minister I will take you up on that offer. I assure you we will nominate a medical professional.”

Barrow’s second question had to do with privileges for persons who are fully vaccinated. This question was directed to the Minister of Health, Michel Chebat.

Moses “Shyne” Barrow, Leader of the Opposition: “Will the Minister of Health and Wellness please say why COVID-19 restrictions have not been lifted for those citizens who have fully vaccinated ?”

Michel Chebat, Minister of Health and Wellness: “Madam Speaker I want to thank the member from Mesopotamia and the Leader of the Opposition – I believe that is what he is – for his question. It is a valid one and it is one that we have been discussing time and time again. However Madam Speaker to start rolling out the benefits in a more tangible way we need to have more people vaccinated. Currently we have 39.7% with one dose and 17% fully vaccinated. This is the only way we can open up our country sir. What you should invest some time in doing member is perhaps travelling on the southside of Belize City encouraging the constituents of the southside to come out and get vaccinated, this is the way for us to move our country forward Mr.Leader. This is the only way to protect out people from this deadly virus. No pantry, no community vote, no other assistance can impact the lives of our people like the way the vaccinations can. So please sir I invite you to encourage your constituents and the constituents of those on your side to organize and to come out and get vaccinated.”

Moses “Shyne” Barrow, Leader of the Opposition: “A follow up question ?”

Valerie Woods, Speaker of the House: “Let me hear the question.” 

Moses “Shyne” Barrow, Leader of the Opposition: “The question would be giving those that are fully vaccinated the benefits of a non restrictive life would that not encourage other people to get vaccinated ?”

Michel Chebat, Minister of Health and Wellness: “When the time comes that we have more persons fully vaccinated benefits will be accorded to them.”