Belize recorded two hundred and thirty-nine new cases of COVID-19. According to the latest statistics provided by the Ministry of Health and Wellness, today’s numbers bring the total number of active cases to two thousand seven hundred and nine. Unfortunately, two more Belizeans have lost their lives to factors related to the coronavirus and the death toll stands at four hundred and fifty-one. Fifty-five people are still hospitalised, which included seventeen in intensive care. Of all the hospitalizations, the majority of those individuals are unvaccinated. Both people who died today were also unvaccinated. However, the Ministry says it is optimistic that people are coming out to get their shots. Doctor Damaris Cruz from the Ministry’s Maternal and Child Health Unit explained.
Dr.Damaris Cruz, Ministry of Health Maternal and Child Health Unit: “The target population for our country 71% and up to date up to October 11th we have 35.8% of that population that has already been vaccinated. In terms of the population that have the age range between 12 and 17 the target for that population is 58,292. Of that population 16,846 have received second doses and that accounts for 25.98% of that population. The following graph is a breakdown of first and second doses administered by population groups from March 1st to October 11th this year. So this graph is a reflection of all the groups. As we can see the persons that are 60+ have a high vaccination rate, we’re seeing that 71.8% of this population has already received their second doses which marks the highest group within this population graph. We’re also noting that the healthcare workers are also getting their second doses right now currently we are 47.7% and about 99.8% of the healthcare workers having received their first doses. So the graph shows that there’s a favorable response by the groups, there is still much work to be done a lot more individuals to be vaccinated but the response is favorable thus far.”
As for measures to stop the spread, the Ministry continues to insist on frequent washing of the hands and the consistent wearing of clean masks while in public. Deputy Director of Health Services, Lizett Bell even urged people to not eat with co-workers.
Lizett Bell, Deputy Director of Health Services: “When we tend to have lunch we cannot do lunch as normal with the entire group in the lounge. We try to find an area where you can eat alone, these are things that you can do to help to reduce your risk of exposure to COVID-19. In addition to that we continue to emphasize the physical distancing, the hand hygiene and the consistent mask wearing and also we as a community need to look at what we are doing as it relates to the social interaction because we know what drives the transmission is high social interaction. So when we say social interaction we mean we cannot be gathering with family members who do not live in our households so we need to reduce those types of social gathering as much as possible.”
Most people who are fully vaccinated are those over the age of sixty. Close to 72 percent of people in this group have gotten both jabs. This is closely followed by customs workers, tourism workers and the National Assembly, which recorded seventy percent. Notably, the armed forces are playing catch up, save for the police, which has about 87 percent of its ranks with just one jab and about 57 percent fully vaccinated. Most officers of the BDF – or 82 percent have gotten one dose, but only 39 percent are fully vaccinated. Utility workers are just under 23 percent with one jab and less than ten percent are fully vaccinated. For the judiciary, about 65 percent have gotten their first dose, but only eight percent are fully vaccinated.