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PM confirms second COVID-19 case in Belize

A second person in Belize has tested positive for Covid-19.  The announcement was made this afternoon by Prime Minister Dean Barrow. 

A second person in Belize has tested positive for Covid-19.  The announcement was made this afternoon by Prime Minister Dean Barrow.

Rt.Hon Dean Barrow, Prime Minister of Belize: “The last time I spoke to you was on Monday when in fact we had one confirmed case. Just before I took to the podium the Minister of Health called me to say there is a second confirmed case but it is that the first confirmed case infected one of her family members, indeed her mother. There were other family members that were screened and sampled and tested , they all were negative and there were five additional persons in San Pedro tested not related to the first case at all but who it appeared might have been exhibiting symptoms that warranted there being tested, all negative. So the second case is what was to have been feared in circumstances such has occurred where the first confirmed case did not self isolate as she first claimed to have done and mixed in freely with the other members of her household and unfortunately her mother, I don’t know the age of the mother, became infected. While the mapping exercise in San Pedro has proceeded we can’t say that it’s done. The health professionals will have to see if there is additional mapping required in consequence of the mother of the first infected person now having tested positive. In that kind of a context we are going to be extending the state of emergency that we declared for Ambergris Caye; so that is going to be extended so that we don’t have to keep going back to the Governor General  or worse having to convoke the National Assembly, the new proclamation will extend it for a total of thirty day with the very earnest hope that it can be lifted well before then but we just out of an abundance of caution and as I said so that we don’t have to keep going back to his excellency we are putting in the thirty day period as a sort of fail safe but we clearly have not only the hope but the expectation that it will be lifted before thirty days.”

Prime Minister went on to state that while there were multiple tests conducted there have been only two positive results.

Rt.Hon Dean Barrow, Prime Minister of Belize: The batch of tests done by the Ministry of Health included twelve as I said from San Pedro but also included four other tests from persons coming from different parts of the country. I don’t want to say exactly from which communities, which districts those persons were sampled and tested but I can say that not one of the persons tested ,apart from those in San Pedro where as I said there was the one case of the mother testing positive, nobody else from elsewhere in the country has tested positive. It is in those circumstances that I repeat right at this moment there is no need to extend that Ambergris Caye declaration of emergency to the entire country.”

Reports had reached our newsroom that the mother had traveled from San Pedro to Benque Viejo del Carmen.  Prime Minister says he cannot confirm that just yet.  As a result of this new case, the state of emergency has been extended to 30 days on San Pedro as was announced by the Prime Minister.