Orange Walk registered its 1000th case over the weekend and now accounts for thirty six percent of all confirmed cases around the country. The numbers are alarming for residents of that municipality and for health authorities. Our newsroom spoke with Orange Walk Mayor Kevin Bernard on how the local authorities are handling the rise in Covid-19 cases.
Kevin Bernard, Mayor, Orange Walk Town: “It’s very alarming indeed the daily cases that we’re getting especially here in the north. For me it seems that there is somewhat clusters in different areas but what I thinks is important to point out is that we as citizens and I mean myself included and all of us as Orange Walkenos in this part of this district need to start to take this matter much more seriously. We have seen the number of deaths in Orange Walk that has taken place due to COVID and I am pretty much aware of several families having now been affected with this COVID for me I think that is what is the priority. While Orange Walk total confirmed cases is at about over a thousand almost a thousand cases I understand that we’re a little over three hundred and forty active cases out of those total confirmed cases. I would love to see that number come back down, I would love to see that go down to zero but it will only happen if we all do our part as residents and as citizens of this country.”
Mayor Bernard, like many other Belizeans, has associated the rise in cases with the movement of people and the border jumpers.
Kevin Bernard, Mayor, Orange Walk Town: “From what I gather I believe the initial spread started when people started to move from one area to the next in town crossing. I recall when the San Pedro was being locked down initially when that was announced everybody started to exit San Pedro and all of a sudden you saw a spike in all of our rural areas especially in the San Jose area at the time, in the San Felipe area, the Blue Creek area and some of the illegal crossings that I’m pretty sure is still happening, the contraband goods that are still coming cross is also contributing to the problem that we’re facing here in Orange Walk. I understand the dilemma people face, our economy is in a dire straight at this point in time, people want to continue do their normal living whether it’s in a formal or informal way which is wrong by the way but you know they have to take stock and look at what the effects of these actions have on others and themselves and our community and so it is very important for everybody to understand that. So it’s a combination of things I think that as well I’ve seen where people are thinking “You know what I still can have my party at my house., I still can invite others to my home. I still can go and have a fun time at my friend’s house and celebrate and forget about what COVID can be amongst any one of us.” So that’s the wrong mindset that has set upon many of our people that is allowing this virus to continue to spread amongst our community. The need for people to understand that if you’re going out in the public, you’re going to the supermarket you don’t need to take all your children with you, you don’t need to take a vehicle full of persons with you to go to the supermarket; let us try to understand that one person can do that.”
The most recent data for Orange Walk shows a total of one thousand and twelve confirmed cases of Covid-19; this figure includes recovered cases.