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Live Update COVID-19

📣 Two More Cases of COVID-19 Confirmed.                      📣 PRESS RELEASE Belmopan. April 6, 2020. 10:30 a.m. – The Ministry of Health has continued to scale up testing for COVID-19 and a further 26 samples were tested on Sunday, April 5th. That scaled up testing has identified two further cases, both males residing in San Ignacio.                      📣 ***PATIENT 4 PASSES*** – Love News has confirmed with a family member that Patient 4 lost his fight against COVID-19. Reports indicate he passed away earlier today after underlying complications.                      📣 Belmopan. April 5, 2020. 8:15 a.m. – Ministry of Health confirms Fifth case of COVID-19 in Belize.                      📣 Today, April 5, 2020 at 03:19 a.m., the expanded testing protocol of the Ministry of Health identified a fifth case of COVID-19. The patient is a Belizean student who returned from Florida.                      📣 The patient arrived in Belize on Friday, April 3rd, and is in self-isolation at a quarantine facility. He is without symptoms and stable.                      📣 A total of 102 samples were processed on April 4th and into the early hours of today. The samples processed included close contacts from both Belize City and San Ignacio and that of health care workers in the Cayo District who had been in contact with patient #4.                      📣 The remaining 101 samples were all negative for COVID-19, and therefore, the Ministry is still unable to determine who the infected contact was for patient #4.
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OSH Bill essential for the protection of employees

The tragedy has brought major concerns into the spotlight including the safety standards being practiced by employers and employees.  The National Trade Union Congress of Belize joined the voices of outrage via a press release sent out this morning.  The union says they are disturbed and aggrieved at the preventable deaths of Stuart and Jimenez.  It also went on to state, quote, “It is preventable incidents like these that reinforce those known facts, reasons and evidence which validates the need for occupational safety practices at all work places.”  End of quote.  Marvin Mora is the President of the National Trade Union Congress of Belize.

Marvin Mora, National Trade Union Congress President

Marvin Mora, President of the National Trade Union Congress: “It is really unfortunate, it is really sad to see that a couple other families are left without the bread winner, without a loved one. Really feel sad by that specific situation because of the results and then we have others that were hurt and this is not the first time but as we expressed in our press release the employers measure their losses in financial terms, in monetary value, our people measure their loses in pain, suffering, death, loss of income. So for us the stakes are a lot more higher than for the employer as far as you can see.”

The OSH Bill has had its first reading in the House of Representatives in January 2014.  It has since been set aside with no idea of how the Government, the opposition, the unions or the Chamber plan to move forward.  Leader of the Opposition spoke on the OSH Bill saying the time has come to get it done,

John Briceno, Opposition Leader

John Briceno, Leader of the Opposition: “The OSH Bill or the Occupational and Hazard Bill has been presented in the National Assembly for first reading and it has gone to the House Committee. Now I know there have been a lot of concerns from the private sector and also from the unions and it seems that it has died a natural death in the House Committee; I think that what is important and I am urging both the unions and the private sector to sit down together and go through the bill and to come up with something they believe that they can both support and so that they can come back to us for a second reading and third reading and that we can enact it into law. What is important that I think more than ever it is the time has come for us to have an occupational and hazard legislation in this country. As the country grows and there are bigger buildings and we have to be more safety conscious of our workers I think that it is time to pass that bill.”

Since its first reading, the OSH Bill has caused debates between government and the unions.  Love News will continue following the matter of the OSH Bill and the way forward.
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