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New infections and two deaths to report on COVID-19

Tonight the Ministry of Health has registered a total of forty deaths due to Covid-19.  The past three deaths occurred in the last forty eight hours as explained by the Director of Health Services, Dr Marvin Manzanero.

Dr.Marvin Manzanero, Director of Health Services: “We have one that should be reported in the infographic later on today it’s a male from the north.”

Reporter: Okay so we have forty now, talk to me in terms of the last three; the one today and the last two. I know that we said that there’s a woman and there’s a man, a man who was on dialysis I think he said just give me a run down in terms of the last three deaths please.

Dr.Marvin Manzanero, Director of Health Services: “Yeah well the last two that were reported yesterday one was a male who was receiving dialysis due to kidney failure for chronic conditions he had  so he had not really improved despite going into dialysis. You know people who have dialysis have more fluid retention than normal so that was contributing to his respiratory distress. We already know that people who have chronic conditions are more likely to have bigger morbidity and mortality issues than somebody who doesn’t have those conditions so those were contributing factors in this particular case. That person was at Karl Heusner’s ICU and he passed away early yesterday. The other person was a female from Corozal ho had been swabbed the day before she arrived and died at Corozal Community Hospital. So those are situations you have to be on the look out for. We don’t know of any chronic condition in this other person but sometimes as I have said sometimes you may not necessarily be aware that you have any other chronic condition unless you’re seeking medical care routinely.”

Reporter: Now in terms of the one today I probably missed it but did he have underlying conditions as well? 

Dr.Marvin Manzanero, Director of Health Services: “I don’t have the particulars of him but I do know he had been from the northern region and he had been intubated because he had not been able to keep adequate oxygenation levels and so he had been unstable all throughout the weekend until he died earlier today.”

Reporter: The woman that went to the Corozal Community Hospital the reports from the Ministry says that she had very mild symptoms so if she had mild symptoms why was she going to the hospital ? 

Dr.Marvin Manzanero, Director of Health Services: “She had gone because of fever and so I believe there was reference to some potential contacts and that’s why she had been swabbed the day before she died and we as I said made the diagnosis post mortem because that sample was still being processed at the lab.”

Love News also asked Dr Manzanero for an update on today’s infographics, the new confirmed infections and the process at the Philip Goldson International Airport.

Dr.Marvin Manzanero, Director of Health Services: “I don’t have recovered cases for today, the preliminary data suggests we have twenty nine positive cases today but I don’t have number of recoveries. Our recovery rate has been around 33-38% of the total documented cases that has been sustained from the last week of September to the first two weeks of October so it’s hovering around one third of the cases are turning out to be recovered cases as well. I mean you can anticipate as you move along you hope to have more recoveries but hopefully it goes down much less than where it has hovered over the last three to to four weeks.”

Reporter: In yesterday’s infographic I noticed that I think it was sixteen new cases and I noticed that Orange Walk was not high up on the list as before, are we seeing any kind of lowering there in terms of numbers ?

Dr.Marvin Manzanero, Director of Health Services: “Not really. You always have to look also how many tests were done and I don’t think we had a significant number of test being done out of Orange Walk and this also has to do with when the samples are taken and when they are brought to Central Medical Lab. As we have always said the ones collected in Belize City are easier to process because they get to the Central Medical Lab quicker than the ones that are collected in the different regions and so that would not necessarily be an indication of that.”

Reporter: What about the situation at the airport ? I know that we have since had one positive case is there any more to add to that? 

Dr.Marvin Manzanero, Director of Health Services: “None in the reports that are coming out of the rapid tests that is being done. We have not really had that report come out.”

Reporter: Any glitches or any hitches in terms of the system and the process for the arrivals at the airport?

Dr.Marvin Manzanero, Director of Health Services: “No I think what we’re trying to zone is is trying to do a standardized review process of the people coming in with PCR test because we are getting different formats that come in. We can appreciate that half of the persons coming in do bring in a PCR test but we I think need to standardize it from our end. The screening process is there for those that don’t have a PCR test to undergo a rapid test but I think we need to formalize that process as to what it is you can bring from outside and will be accepted but I think the process has been fairly smooth so far. I know flights get added as we move along. We know TropicAir is now flying to Cancun Monday and Friday and I believe TAG Airlines out of Guatemala is starting to have the routine travel now to/from Belize not so sure if on a daily basis but that’s something that we need to factor in as well.”

As an additional update the ministry noted that there are current three patients intubated at the KHMH.  In total, Belize has had 2585 confirmed cases, 1580 of those cases have recovered and 966 remain active.