Since the first detection of COVID-19, the Director of Health Services, Dr. Marvin Manzanero has indicated that phases one, two and three have been rolled out. In yesterday’s edition of Ask the Experts, Dr. Manzanero went into detail on the process of mapping and the importance for those who were on Ambergris Caye to remain there.
Dr.Marvin Manzanero, Director of Health Services: “We were very clear in trying to emphasize with people is what we wanted is people to remain calm, to remain in specific area because what you do once you have what’s an index case or zero case, index case is the term you use is that you need to identify who the contacts were and then assess the risk of all those contacts and then you do for technical terms a stratification which means you define who is at high risk, who is medium risk, who is low risk and then based on that you take your different course of action whether it’s quarantine, isolation whichever term you want to use but we are unable to do that if we don’t get that cooperation of the public. I know that after we made the announcement there were lots of people that were simply just wanting to get off the island, it doesn’t mean also that everybody who was in San Pedro is automatically at risk, it doesn’t mean that automatically you need to come off the island and – that’s not the due process then. The team has from this morning been doing what’s an initial mapping which means it’s trying to trace what happens from when the patient got from before she landed actually people who were on the plane we already have that list, people who she interacted with at the airport, the flight she took onto San Pedro we already have that list as well, who took her to her house on the Thursday when she arrived. We already had a lengthy discussion with her, where she was on Friday, where she was on Saturday, where she was on Sunday. So based on that then you start doing initial screen test for those who were in immediate and close contact with her. It also doesn’t mean that every single person in San Pedro who now has the flu will be screened because I think that’s one of the common questions, that is not the way you do your basic research; you have to find out who is most at risk particularly the ones that are closest contacts with her and make a determination in that regard. So that’s part of the work that routinely would take us forty eight we have said maximum of seventy two hours and that’s what we were asking from people to cooperate and help us deal with the investigation. This is like a murder case then, you need to find all the detectives that are going to do that work and then come up with the pieces of the puzzle and put up your puzzle and then make your determination in that regard.”
According to Dr. Manzanero, they have reached out to persons who were on the flight with the patient on Thursday. He added that they will continue monitoring those individuals. As it relates to the patient’s contacts made and the report of her being at a party on Saturday, Dr. Manzanero says they have questioned her on these reports.
Dr.Marvin Manzanero, Director of Health Services: “According she was a party on San Pedro on a Saturday night how true is that ?” We have spoken with her, she did interact with other eight family members as I understand on that Saturday those have all now been placed in isolation, well three of the persons who she was routinely in contact with before she came to the facility have already isolated from Friday. We are going to assess individually all those persons who interacted with her on the Saturday. The people who were closely in contact with her on the Thursday – Friday those will be swabbed and brought to Belize City today the process should start maybe at 5pm in terms of running the samples. Now because we are scaling up our screening we are telling people that it could take up to twenty four hours because we are going to run it by batch numbers now.”