The Ministry of Health has been procuring supplies and equipment over the last few weeks including testing kits, ventilators, and protective gear. As we heard from the Prime Minister this week, several donations are being sent in to purchase resources and supplies. Belize is expecting a delivery in the coming days that will see several health institutions more equipped and the Central Lab with more testing supplies.
Dr.Marvin Manzanero, Director of Health Services: “We have 5,000 individual test kits slated to come in, those are already paid for. 7,300 PPEs, those are already paid for and they’re on their way. The six initial ventilators are slated to arrive today. We have just signed on to a document to procure test tubes which are materials used for the actual swabbing and blood samples that are needed to be taken for the study we’re undertaking and I will give you total monetary value so that you can also appreciate the cost this has. I know people are saying about the initial budget given of $900,000 I think we have gone beyond that maybe from last week if not before. We just paid or are in the process of paying $93,750 for test tubes, from one source we’re paying $36,500 and from another source $312,600 this is for a total of twenty more ventilators. Six XRay machines are scheduled to arrive, portable ones, next week and I know we are getting two portable ultrasounds also for use in that regard.”
As it relates to the tests being conducted around the country, there have been 85 done so far.
Dr.Russell Manzanero, Director of Epidemiology Unit: “To date and currently in real time we are processing an additional samples for COVID, to date we have actually screened 86 samples for COVID of which we know it’s the same two that have remained positive, the index case and her immediate contact. We do know of areas being screened right now , we have three samples that were screened from Belize City, three from Corozal and one from the Stann Creek district so four of those already negative that we’re seeing and the other three are actually being ran right now so that’s what we’re waiting on so that’s just to give you and update of what all we’ve been doing. Of course there is ongoing testing for additional influenza viruses that’s ongoing as well but particularly for COVID-19 this is the amount we have tested so far, 86, and the four for today remain negative.”