Belize’s health officials have activated their national surveillance team after keeping a close eye on the Coronavirus. The virus originates from Wuhan, China and has infected over 500 people and killed 17 in China. According to Director of Health Services, Doctor Marvin Manzanero, the surveillance team monitors diseases that potentially threaten the region and by extension, the country. The team joined twenty other Caribbean member states at a meeting hosted yesterday by the Caribbean Public Health Authority (CARPHA). While the Surveillance team is activated, Dr. Manzanero says there is no need to panic or be overly concerned.
Dr. Marvin Manzanero, Director of Health Services: “Yesterday we met with twenty other countries under the CARPHA umbrella to discuss the public health measures that the region would be anticipated to have and a review of the novel Coronavirus that is now circulating now in the region because now two cases I believe have been confirmed in the US, it could have been many more cases that simply just escaped the diagnosis because if it just gives you the common flu symptoms then not everybody is going to show up at the hospital so yeah you could have many more numbers that are being reported. It is an evolving new infection which means there are many unknowns in that regard but it really should be treated as any other flu diagnosis that we may have. I don’t know that we would have to be specifically concerned just with Coronavirus, if we’re going to have a concern it would have to be with the current flu season that we have and I think that’s the message we try to send out in the press release yesterday and that is the message we have communicated to the regional management teams when we met earlier today. The communication from CARPHA yesterday said we are still at a low risk area but we have to be concerned about the overall flu which can kill you, I mean that’s something that we cannot shy away from.”
In press release issued yesterday by the Ministry of Health, Belizeans were reminded that there is currently no travel ban in place. Dr Manzanero reiterates that a ban is not recommended as stated by international regulations.