Turning now to Covid-19; the data released today has brought the active cases of COVID-19 to two thousand one hundred seventy-six tonight. This is due to some 200 new cases between yesterday and today. In addition, there was one death, bringing the death toll to four hundred and nine. Fifty people are hospitalized and fourteen are in intensive care. Of the fifty in hospital, 32 are unvaccinated. Of those in the ICU, nine of them have not received a single jab of the vaccine. Of the new cases reported today, 132 were in Belize District, which includes Belize City where there were 97 cases. Stann Creek District followed next with forty-nine new cases, scattered in various communities including the municipality of Dangriga and nearby Hopkins Village. In Cayo there forty cases including small numbers in the City of Belmopan, San Ignacio/Santa Elena and Benque Viejo del Carmen Towns. In the rest of the country there were fifty-seven new cases altogether but notably there were thirteen new cases each in Orange Walk and Punta Gorda Towns and six in Corozal Town. To put it another way, there were a total of 973 new cases of COVID-19 in Belize between Saturday and Wednesday. While cases are increasing, the total number of vaccinations are also going up. The Ministry says that some twenty-three thousand five hundred fourteen people between ages 12 and 17 have received a vaccine while another five thousand four hundred ninety-four adults are newly vaccinated. Some one hundred ninety-two thousand three hundred thirty-two people have received at least one dose so far while one hundred twenty-three thousand four hundred seventy-five people are fully vaccinated. Senator for the NGOs, Osmany Salas spoke to our newsroom today on the upcoming regulations for October 1 and the hesitation by some citizens to get vaccinated.
Senator Osmany Salas, Belize Network of NGO’s: “If we’re talking about rights we need to keep in mind and talk about the rights of our front line heroes, our medical workers, the people who have been vaccinated. We need to talk about them. Look, our hospital system is under severe pressure, severe pressure where they have become quite full with COVID patients. So let’s talk about the rights of other patients, patients that are suffering from other ailments that need attention but may not be able to access a hospital bed because they’re filled by COVID patients, let’s talk about their rights. Let’s talk about the rights of individuals that I consider the new Belizean patriot that have gone for their jabs once, twice, some of us are ready for our booster shots because we need to get the majority of our population vaccinated. Let’s talk about the rights of people who are suffering economically because we cannot get back on our economic feet and this is a long as you don’t get the infection rates down we will be in an economic hole. The longer we are in that hole the more painful it will be. Those are the rights that we need to be talking about. So I don’t at this stage where I stand I don’t want to expend any energy to try and change the minds of the anti vaxxers. I won’t even bother because they’re set in their ways for whatever reasons; conspiracy theorists, using religion, by the way you saw the three Bishops came out with a very positive statement urging Belizeans to get the jab, to get vaccinated that’s the kind of message that should be going out.”