San Felipe and Blue Creek Villages in the Orange Walk District remain under the State of Emergency tonight as a family of seven of Blue Creek was diagnosed with Covid-19. The mapping and tracing of these individuals continue by health officials to ascertain who else these persons have come in contact with. Perhaps the most angering factor in this situation is the fact that the family repeatedly goes into Mexico and return to Belize via an illegal crossing. Attorney General Michael Peyrefitte spoke on the issue of the State of Emergency and the illegal crossings.
Hon. Michael Peyrefitte, Minister of National Security: “We’ve had to seal it off. We’ve had to declare the area public emergency. San Felipe and Blue Creek in particular and then another senator was telling me well maybe we need to do the same for Santa Cruz because that’s also an issue but these communities have been sealed off from the rest of the country because we have to do our mapping and our testing within that community to determine how many people are COVID-19 if any and if possible and what we do in order to isolate them so that they don’t affect the rest of us and it’s going to be inconvenient, it’s going to be a wailing and a gnashing of teeth by these communities but let’s be full and frank some of the residents of these villages are the ones who brought this on themselves. We tell people over and over and over don’t go to Mexico, stay away from Union. One it’s illegal to jump the border, two it’s illegal to do this contraband business with the different products and three Mexico especially on the border with Belize to the north is infested with COVID-19 so when you jump the border and you come back and you infect people or you come infected you put the rest of us in danger. So I understand their cries, I feel their pains to a certain extent but they also need to hold those people who they know jump the border accountable.”
Earlier this week our newsroom reported that the Orange Walk District would be locked down due to the multiple border jumpers. While officials of the National Oversight Committee did not give the green light on this lockdown, Attorney General Peyrefitte noted that it is being contemplated.
Hon. Michael Peyrefitte, Minister of National Security: “We have to – we’re currently sealing off San Felipe and Blue Creek as I said but we are looking at the entire district and hopefully it doesn’t extend beyond San Felipe and Blue Creek but what if we start to have clusters in Orange Walk? What if we start to have any signs of a community spread? Then we will have to seal off Orange Walk. I guess I’ve coined the phrase “We’re not there yet.” we’re not there yet but we may very well get there depending on the spread. Let’s just hope we don’t have to close the whole district or the whole two northern districts or the whole country again.”
Reporter: I’m sure your government is hesitant-
Hon. Michael Peyrefitte, Minister of National Security: “Naturally. Naturally we are but we beg with people, we plead with people please follow the protocols, please follow the law, don’t jump the border but we can only beg and plead with some people. Some people are determined to break the law.”
The State of Emergency for San Felipe and Blue Creek Villages will expire on August 9, 2020, based on the Covid-19 at that time in the area.